January 12, 1999
In 1997, deaths caused by workers being caught in machinery increased, even though the overall number of deaths from work-related injuries remained about the same. A total of 189 people lost their lives after being caught in machinery, compared with 146 in 1996. The 1997 total was the highest reported in 6 years.
Manufacturing accounted for the largest portion of deaths resulting from workers being caught in operating machinery. This was true despite the fact that manufacturing is considered relatively safe with respect to fatal work injuries. Deaths from material handling equipment were the most common in manufacturing.
Agriculture accounted for about 25 percent of deaths resulting from workers being caught in operating machinery. One-third of these fatalities involved balers, combines, and other harvesting and threshing machines.
Other industries with significant fatalities due to workers being caught in machinery were mining, construction, refuse systems, and scrap waste materials.
Data on fatal occupational injuries are available from the BLS Safety and Health Statistics program. For additional information, see "Worker Fatalities from being Caught in Machinery" (PDF 34K), Compensation and Working Conditions, Winter 1998.