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Fatalities to workers age 55 and older trending up

February 24, 2020

Workplace fatalities are trending upward among workers age 55 and older. In 2018, there were 1,863 fatal work injuries among workers age 55 and older. That was 35 percent of all workplace deaths, up from 20 percent in 1992. The historic high was 37 percent in 2017.

Fatal work injuries by age, 1992–2018
Year Total fatal work injuries Under age 55 Age 55 and older

1992

6,217 4,983 1,234

1993

6,331 4,998 1,333

1994

6,632 5,241 1,391

1995

6,275 4,933 1,342

1996

6,202 4,843 1,359

1997

6,238 4,843 1,395

1998

6,055 4,678 1,377

1999

6,054 4,673 1,381

2000

5,920 4,601 1,319

2001

5,915 4,610 1,305

2002

5,534 4,255 1,279

2003

5,575 4,250 1,325

2004

5,764 4,288 1,476

2005

5,734 4,223 1,511

2006

5,840 4,278 1,562

2007

5,657 4,149 1,508

2008

5,214 3,714 1,500

2009

4,551 3,147 1,404

2010

4,690 3,160 1,530

2011

4,693 3,188 1,505

2012

4,628 3,104 1,524

2013

4,585 3,095 1,490

2014

4,821 3,130 1,691

2015

4,836 3,155 1,681

2016

5,190 3,342 1,848

2017

5,147 3,217 1,930

2018

5,250 3,387 1,863

Transportation incidents were the most common type of fatal event among workers age 55 and older during the 1992–2018 period. In 2018, there were 769 transportation-related fatalities (41 percent) among these workers. That was followed by falls, slips, and trips at 402 fatalities (22 percent).

Fatal worker injuries to workers age 55 and older by event, 2018
Event Fatal worker injuries

Transportation incidents

769

Falls, slips, trips

402

Contact with objects and equipment

312

Violence and other injuries by persons or animals

229

Exposure to harmful substances or environments

101

Fires and explosions

36

Overexertion and bodily reaction

11

These data are from the Injuries, Illnesses, and Fatalities program. For more information, see “Fatal occupational injuries to older workers” in the January 2020 edition of the Monthly Labor Review.

SUGGESTED CITATION

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Fatalities to workers age 55 and older trending up on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2020/fatalities-to-workers-age-55-and-older-trending-up.htm (visited August 12, 2020).

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