Killed on the Job: 2016 Was Deadliest in Years for U.S. Workers

Last year was the deadliest for U.S. workers in nearly a decade. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 5,190 people were killed on the job in 2016, the most since 2008. The rate of fatal injuries for full-time workers rose to 3.6 per 100,000, the highest since 2010.

Deadly Year on the Job

Fatal incidents on the rise in U.S. workplaces

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Categories with significant increases included homicides, suicides and overdoses. Higher death rates spanned most age groups as well as many races and ethnic groups, with the exception of Hispanic or Latino people. Here are some details from Tuesday’s report:

  • Suicides at work rose to a record 291, and the 500 homicides were the most since 2010
  • Drug and alcohol overdoses jumped to 217 cases, the fourth straight increase of at least 25 percent, amid the nation’s opioid epidemic
  • Rate of deaths for workers 55 and older rose to record for age group
  • Transportation incidents were the most common, making up 40 percent of all workplace deaths
  • Loggers had the highest rate of fatal work injuries at 136 per 100,000 workers
  • Deaths from falls, slips or trips increased 6 percent to 849; up more than 25 percent for roofers, carpenters and tree-trimmers, as well as truck drivers
  • Deaths by fire and explosion were down 27 percent from 2015
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