Dec 19, 2017– The US Occupational Safety and Health Administration has said that there were 5,190 workplace fatalities in 2016, a 7-percent increase from 2015. The fatal injury rate also increased from 3.4 per 100,000 full-time equivalent workers in 2015 to 3.6 in 2016. The data has been sourced from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and it paints a bad picture! Instead of workplace safety getting better, things seem to be deteriorating.
More workers lost their lives in transportation incidents than any other event in 2016, accounting for about one out of every four fatal injuries. Workplace violence injuries increased by 23 percent, making it the second most common cause of workplace fatality. Today’s report also shows the number of overdoses on the job increased by 32 percent in 2016, and the number of fatalities has increased by at least 25 percent annually since 2012.
Loren Sweatt, Deputy Assistant Secretary for OSHA, issued the following statement regarding the report:
“Today’s occupational fatality data show a tragic trend with the third consecutive increase in worker fatalities in 2016 – the highest since 2008. America’s workers deserve better.
“The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is committed to finding new and innovative ways of working with employers and employees to improve workplace safety and health. OSHA will work to address these trends through enforcement, compliance assistance, education and training, and outreach.
“As President Trump recognized by declaring opioid abuse a Nationwide Public Health Emergency, the nation’s opioid crisis is impacting Americans every day at home and, as this data demonstrates, increasingly on the job.
“The Department of Labor will work with public and private stakeholders to help eradicate the opioid crisis as a deadly and growing workplace issue.”
The original press release can be seen here on the OSHA website.