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Fatal Occupational Injuries – Transportation-Related Accidents

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) has published a report on August 19 2010 titled “National Census Of Fatal Occupational Injuries In 2009 (Preliminary Results)”(pdf). According to this report:

A preliminary total of 4,340 fatal work injuries were recorded in the United States in 2009, down from a final count of 5,214 fatal work injuries in 2008. The 2009 total represents the smallest annual preliminary total since the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI) program was first conducted in 1992. Based on this preliminary count, the rate of fatal work injury for U.S. workers in 2009 was 3.3 per 100,000 full-time equivalent (FTE) workers, down from a final rate of 3.7 in 2008.

As mentioned in this report, the economy and the accompanying decrease of economic activity was a significant factor in decreasing the amount of fatal work injuries.

This report has a variety of statistics regarding occupational injuries; for purposes of this blog post a focus will be put on those that are transportation-related. As the report states:

Transportation incidents, which accounted for nearly two-fifths of all the fatal work injuries in 2009, fell 21 percent from the 2,130 fatal work injuries reported in 2008.

As seen in Table 1, there are a variety of categories of transportation accidents and the corresponding fatalities in 2008 vs. 2009.

Among these categories were the following:

  • Highway
  • Non-Highway
  • Worker struck by a vehicle
  • Railway accident
  • Water Vehicle Accident
  • Aircraft Accident

Table 2 had the following title: “Fatal occupational injuries by industry and selected event or exposure, 2009”
Table 3 had the following title: “Fatal occupational injuries by occupation and selected event or exposure, 2009”
Table 4 had the following title: “Fatal occupational injuries by selected worker characteristics and selected event or exposure, 2009”
Table 5 had the following title: “Fatal occupational injuries by state and event or exposure, 2008-2009”
Table 6 had the following title: “Table 6. CFOI participating agencies and telephone numbers”
As seen in Table 5, the state of Illinois had 158 total fatalities in 2009, including 46 transportation incidents
The report also speaks of construction-related accidents, which are also a significant cause of fatalities. The construction sector is shown as the leading sector in fatalities, with 816 in 2009.

The report states on page 3:

While workers in construction incurred the most fatal injuries of any industry in the private sector in 2009, the number of fatalities in construction declined 16 percent in 2009 after a decline of 19 percent in 2008. With this decrease, private construction fatalities are down by more than a third since reaching a series high in 2006. Economic conditions may explain much of this decline with total hours worked having declined 17 percent in construction in 2009, after a decline of 10 percent the year before. Fatal injuries involving workers in the construction of buildings were down 27 percent from 2008, with most of the decrease occurring in nonresidential building construction (down 44 percent to 55 cases). Heavy and civil engineering construction was down 12 percent, and the subsector with the largest number of fatal work injuries, specialty trade contractors, had 16 percent fewer fatalities in 2009 than in 2008.