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Fatal injuries in U.S. workplaces rise in 2016

April 27, 2018

Every April 28 marks Workers’ Memorial Day, a day to commemorate people killed, disabled, or injured on the job. In 2016, 5,190 workers in the United States suffered fatal occupational injuries. That was the highest annual figure since 2008 and 354 more than in 2015. This 7.3-percent increase equals about 1 more worker fatally injured per day in 2016 compared to 2015. The number of fatal injuries increased in each of the major event categories in 2016, except for fires and explosions.

Number of fatal occupational injuries by major event or exposure, 2015–16
Event or exposure 2015 2016

Fires and explosions

121 88

Exposure to harmful substances or environments

424 518

Violence and other injuries by persons or animals

703 866

Contact with objects and equipment

722 761

Falls, slips, trips

800 849

Transportation incidents

2,054 2,083

The largest increase in fatal injuries in 2016 occurred as a result of violence and other injuries by persons or animals, a rise of 163 from 2015. There was an increase of 94 fatal injuries over the year from exposure to harmful substances or environments. The highest number of fatal injury cases in 2016 resulted from transportation incidents, an increase of 29 from the 2015 total.

These data are from the Injuries, Illnesses, and Fatalities program. To learn more, see "National Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries in 2016" (HTML) (PDF). We also have more charts on fatal occupational injuries.

SUGGESTED CITATION

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Fatal injuries in U.S. workplaces rise in 2016 on the Internet at https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2018/fatal-injuries-in-us-workplaces-rise-in-2016.htm (visited August 11, 2020).

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