Fatal occupational injuries involving insects, arachnids, and mites

August 26, 2014

Although not often associated with fatal workplace injuries, insects, arachnids, and mites were involved in 83 fatal occupational injuries from 2003 to 2010, an average of 10 per year.

Bees were the most common insect involved, with 52 of the 83 fatal occupational injuries over the 2003–2010 period resulting from bee-related incidents. Eleven workers were killed in wasp-related incidents, including 3 incidents involving yellow jackets (which are a type of wasp). In addition, 7 fatal occupational injuries over that period were from spiders and 4 were from ants. Fatal occupational injuries involving insects are often associated with anaphylactic shock. In total, 39 of the 83 case narratives noted the decedent suffered anaphylactic shock.

Insect-related deaths were most commonly associated with three types of jobs: farming, construction, and landscaping. A total of 20 farmers and farm workers were killed during the 8-year period, as well as 19 construction workers and 17 landscape workers. Together, the three occupations accounted for two-thirds of all workplace fatalities over the 2003–2010 period.

These data are from the BLS Injuries, Illnesses, and Fatalities program, which publishes annual counts of fatal occupational injuries by demographic and employment characteristics of those killed and selected characteristics of the fatal incident itself. To learn more, see "Fatal injuries and nonfatal occupational injuries and illnesses involving insects, arachnids, and mites," Beyond the Numbers, August 2014.

SUGGESTED CITATION

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Fatal occupational injuries involving insects, arachnids, and mites on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2014/ted_20140826.htm (visited December 19, 2014).

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