A preliminary total of 4,609 fatal work injuries were recorded in the U.S. in 2011, down from a final count of 4,690 fatal work injuries in 2010, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The rate of fatal work injury for U.S. workers in 2011 was 3.5 per 100,000 full-time equivalent (FTE) workers, as compared to a final rate of 3.6 per 100,000 for 2010.
Other key findings of the 2011 Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries:
- Fatal work injuries in the private construction sector declined to 721 in 2011 from 774 in 2010, a drop of 7% and the fifth consecutive year of lower fatality counts. Fatal construction injuries are down nearly 42% since 2006.
- Violence and other injuries by persons or animals accounted for 780 fatalities, or about 17% of the fatal injuries in the workplace in 2011. Included in this count are 458 homicides and 242 suicides.
- Work-related fatalities in the private mining industry (which includes oil and gas extraction) were down 10% in 2011 after an increase of 74% in 2010. Coal mining fatalities fell to 17 in 2011 from 43 in 2010.
- Fatal work injuries in private truck transportation rose 14% in 2011: the second consecutive year that counts have risen in this sector after reaching a series low in 2009.
- Fatal work injuries increased among non-Hispanic black or African-American workers and among Hispanic or Latino workers in 2011, but declined among non-Hispanic white workers (down 3%).
- Fatal work injuries involving workers 55 years of age and older as well as workers under the age of 18 were both lower in 2011, but fatal work injuries among workers in the 20 to 24 age group were up nearly 18%.
- Twenty-three states reported higher numbers of fatal work injuries in 2011 than in 2010, while 25 states and the District of Columbia reported lower numbers. Two states reported the same number as in 2010.