Fatal occupational injuries in Connecticut fell from 44 in 2015 to 28 in 2016, while the nation overall saw a 7% increase over the same period.

From 2015 to 2016, the rate of fatal injuries decreased in Connecticut from 2.6 per 100,000 full-time equivalent workers to 1.6.

According to the National Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries in 2016 released Dec. 19 by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 5,190 fatal work injuries nationwide in 2016, up from 4,836 the previous year and the highest total since 2008.

The fatal injury rate also increased nationally from 3.4 per 100,000 FTEs in 2015 to 3.6 in 2016.

In contrast, the BLS reported in November that the incidence of nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses in 2016 dropped by 48,500 cases nationwide compared to a year earlier.

Disturbing Trends

Nationally, 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%, making it the second most common cause of workplace fatality.

The number of overdoses on the job increased by 32% in 2016.
The BLS report also shows the number of overdoses on the job increased by 32% in 2016, and the number of fatalities has increased by at least 25% annually since 2012.

“Today's occupational fatality data show a tragic trend, with the third consecutive increase in worker fatalities in 2016—the highest since 2008," said Deputy Assistant Secretary for OSHA Loren Sweatt in a Dec. 19 statement. 

“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.

“…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.”

Other Key Findings

Occupations with increases greater than 10% in the number of fatal work injuries in 2016 include food preparation and serving related occupations (64%); installation, maintenance, and repair occupations (20%); building and grounds cleaning and maintenance occupations (14%); and sales and related occupations (11%).

Declines greater than 10% in the number of fatal work injuries in 2016 include healthcare practitioners and technical occupations (19%), military occupations (15%), and production occupations (14%).