Fatal work injuries by event or exposure in 2012

August 28, 2013

There were 4,383 fatal work injuries in 2012, with transportation incidents accounting for more than 2 out of every 5 fatal injuries. Of the 1,789 transportation-related fatal injuries, about 58 percent (1,044 cases) were roadway incidents involving motorized land vehicles. Nonroadway incidents, such as a tractor overturn in a farm field, accounted for another 13 percent (227 cases) of the transportation-related fatal injuries. About 16 percent (283 cases) of fatal transportation incidents in 2012 involved pedestrians who were struck by vehicles.

Fatal occupational injuries by event or exposure, 2012
Event or exposureNumber or events or exposure

Total

4,383

Transportation incidents

1,789

Roadway incidents involving motorized land vehicle

1,044

Nonroadway incidents involving motorized land vehicles

227

Pedestrian vehicular incident

283

Rail vehicle incidents

33

Water vehicle incidents

64

Aircraft incidents

125

Other

13

Violence and other injuries by persons or animals

767

Homicides - intentional injury by other person

463

Self-inflicted injury - intentional

225

Other

79

Contact with objects and equipment

712

Struck by object or equipment

509

Caught in or compressed by equipment or objects

122

Struck, caught, or crushed in collapsing structure, equipment, or material

74

Other

7

Falls, slips, trips

668

Falls to lower level

544

Fall on same level

108

Other

16

Exposure to harmful substances or environments

320

Exposure to electricity

156

Exposure to temperature extremes

40

Exposure to other harmful substances

94

Other

30

Fires and explosions

116

 

Note: these data are preliminary.

 

 

There were 767 workers killed as a result of violence and other injuries by persons or animals, including 463 homicides and 225 suicides. The 2012 total for work-related suicides declined 10 percent from the 2011 total; the total for homicides was also slightly lower in 2012.

Fatal falls, slips, or trips took the lives of 668 workers in 2012, down slightly from 2011. Falls to a lower level accounted for 544 or about 81 percent of those fatalities. In 2012, the height of the fall was reported in 437 of the fatal falls to a lower level. Of those cases, about 1 in 4 occurred after a fall of 10 feet or less. Another one-fourth of the fatal-fall cases occurred from falls of over 30 feet.

In 2012, there were 712 fatal work injuries involving contact with objects and equipment (about the same as in 2011). The number of workers fatally injured after being struck by objects or equipment increased by 7 percent—from 476 fatal work injuries in 2011 to 509 in 2012.

These data are from the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI), which is part of the BLS Injuries, Illnesses, and Fatalities program. Data for 2012 are preliminary. To learn more, see "National Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries in 2012 (Preliminary Results)" (HTML) (PDF) news release USDL-13-1699.

SUGGESTED CITATION

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Fatal work injuries by event or exposure in 2012 on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2013/ted_20130828.htm (visited October 22, 2014).

OF INTEREST

Three recent editions of Spotlight on Statistics