The preliminary Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI) conducted by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics suggests fatal work injuries in the United States fell 5% in 2013 to 4,405. The number of fatal work injuries in the private construction sector in 2013 remained about the same as in 2012, but construction’s 796 fatal work injuries accounted for the highest number of fatal work injuries of any industry sector in 2013.
Overall construction fatalities are down 36% since 2006.
Fatal work injuries in the private mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction sector were 15% lower in 2013 at 154 from 181 in 2012. The number of fatal work injury cases in oil and gas extraction industries dropped more than 20% lower in 2013 to 112.
Key overall findings of the preliminary 2013 Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries:
- Fatal work injuries in private industry in 2013 were 6% below the 2012 figure. The preliminary 2013 count of 3,929 fatal injuries in private industry represents the lowest annual total since the fatality census was first conducted in 1992
- Fatal work injuries among Hispanic or Latino workers were higher in 2013, rising 7%. The 797 Hispanic or Latino worker deaths in 2013 constituted the highest total since 2008. Fatal work injuries were lower among all other major racial/ethnic groups
- Since 2011, CFOI has identified whether fatally injured workers were working as contractors at the time of the fatal incident. In 2013, 734 decedents were identified as contractors, above the 715 reported in 2012. Workers who were working as contractors at the time of their fatal injury accounted for 17% of all cases in 2013
- Fatal work injuries involving workers under 16 years of age were substantially lower, falling from 19 in 2012 to 5 in 2013—the lowest total ever reported by the census. Fatal work injuries in most other age groups were also lower in 2013, though fatal work injuries among workers 25 to 34 years of age were higher.
- Work-related suicides were 8% higher than in 2012, but workplace homicides were 16% lower. Overall, violence accounted for one out of every six fatal work injuries in 2013.
- The number of fatal work injuries among firefighters was considerably higher in 2013, rising from 18 in 2012 to 53 in 2013. The large increase resulted from a few major incidents in which multiple fatalities were recorded, including the Yarnell Hill wildfires in Arizona which claimed the lives of 19 firefighters.
- Fatal work injuries among self-employed workers were lower by 16% from 1,057 in 2012 to 892 in 2013. The preliminary 2013 total represents the lowest annual total since the series began in 1992.
These are preliminary numbers. Final 2013 data from CFOI will be released in the late spring of 2015.