Fatal work-related falls to a lower level increased 26 percent from 2011 to 2016

May 07, 2018

Fatal work-related falls to a lower level increased 26 percent from 2011 to 2016. There were 553 fatal falls to lower level in 2011 and 697 in 2016. The number of fatal falls to a lower level increased each year in this period except for 2015. Over the 6-year period, there were 3,723 fatal falls to a lower level.

Fatal work-related falls to a lower level by industry, 2011–16
Year Construction Professional and business services Trade, transportation, and utilities Natural resources and mining Manufacturing All other private industries Government

2011

255 92 49 44 38 44 31

2012

279 73 73 48 29 46 22

2013

291 85 59 43 31 60 26

2014

345 80 67 54 35 61 18

2015

350 93 50 33 50 49 23

2016

370 96 65 38 37 71 20

Most of the increase in fatal falls to a lower level occurred in the private construction industry. Fatal falls to a lower level in private construction increased from 255 in 2011 to 370 in 2016, a 45-percent increase. In all other industries combined, the increase was 10 percent. Over the 6-year period, more than half the fatal falls to a lower level occurred in the private construction.

Fatal work-related falls to a lower level by source and height of fall, 2011–16
Height Ladders Roofs Vehicles Scaffolds, staging Machinery Trees Stairs, steps All other sources

Over 30 feet

29 127 62 93 81 81 4 181

26–30 feet

27 100 19 26 19 20 2 50

21–25 feet

59 130 16 43 14 12 3 45

16–20 feet

109 146 27 48 33 16 6 46

11–15 feet

145 151 49 50 23 6 14 93

6–10 feet

174 41 63 50 20 7 20 85

Under 6 feet

87 127 18 21 1 40 108

Height not specified

206 67 53 59 29 32 67 142

Note: Dash means no data were reported or data do not meet publication standards.

In fatal injuries resulting from falls to a lower level, the primary source is the object or surface from which the worker fell. From 2011 to 2016, the most common sources in these cases were ladders (836 fatal injuries) and roofs (763). The most common height of a fall was over 30 feet (658 fatal injuries).

These data are from the Injuries, Illnesses, and Fatalities program. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is having a National Safety Stand-Down to Prevent Falls in Construction May 7–11, 2018.

SUGGESTED CITATION

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Fatal work-related falls to a lower level increased 26 percent from 2011 to 2016 on the Internet at https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2018/fatal-work-related-falls-to-a-lower-level-increased-26-percent-from-2011-to-2016.htm (visited December 15, 2018).

OF INTEREST
spotlight

Recent editions of Spotlight on Statistics