Recently, the Bureau of Labor Statistics released its annual report on fatalities in the workplace. While the final figures will not be released until April of 2010, the preliminary report states that there were 4,340 fatal work injuries in 2009. The number of fatal work injuries has decreased 17 percent since the 2008 report released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Interestingly, the report states that 90 percent of all fatal work injuries in 2009 involved workers in the private industry.
The construction industry incurred the most fatal injuries of any industry in the private sector, with 816 deaths in 2009. Private construction fatalities have dropped by more than a third since reaching its highest numbers in 2006. The report suggests that the current economic condition of the country may explain this decline.
Following the construction industry, the transportation and warehousing industry incurred 579 deaths in the year studied. The largest subsector within this category is truck transportation, which had a 32 percent decrease in fatalities in 2009.
One of the few industries which incurred a higher number of work fatalities in 2009 was wholesale trade. Fatalities in this industry rose 3 percent since the previous report. Other industries which saw a reduction in work fatalities are the utilities and information industries, financial activities, professional and business services, educational and health services, and leisure and hospitality.
Fatalities among workers employed by the government decreased 17 percent. Yet fatalities among federal government workers rose 7 percent to 116 fatal injuries in 2009. The report indicates that this increase in fatalities among federal government employees is largely due to the increase in the number of individuals employed in the national security subsector.
These astonishing numbers illustrate the dangers which workers are exposed to on a daily basis. If you have been injured on the job, please contact the law firm of Altman & Altman for an initial consultation free of charge. For over 50 years, our firm has successfully represented injured workers and their families with workers’ compensation claims and disputes against employees and insurance companies in the Greater Boston Area, as well as throughout Massachusetts.
Source: National Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries in 2009 (Preliminary Results), Bureau of Labor Statistics, August 19, 2010