August 11, 1999
The number of fatal work injuries fell to 6,026 in 1998 from a level of 6,238 in the previous year. The 1998 fatality total was the lowest count since the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries began in 1992.
An 18-percent decline in homicides accounted for much of the drop in job-related fatalities. There were 709 workplace homicides in 1998, compared to 860 in 1997. The number of work-related homicides in 1998 was the lowest in the 1992-98 period.
In contrast, worker deaths in 1998 from highway crashes, from being stuck by vehicles, and from contact with overhead powerlines were at their highest levels during the 7-year period. Highway crashes continued as the leading cause of on-the-job fatalities during 1998, accounting for 24 percent of the total.
These data are a product of the BLS Safety and Health Statistics Program. Additional information is available from "National Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries, 1998," news release USDL 99-208.