U.S. Fatal Work Injury Rate Dropped in 2017

Fatal falls were at their highest level in the 26-year history of the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI) and accounted for 887 workers' deaths. BLS also reported that fatal occupational injuries involving confined spaces rose 15 percent to 166 in 2017 from 144 in 2016.

A total of 5,147 fatal work injuries were recorded in the United States in 2017, down slightly from the 5,190 fatal injuries reported in 2016, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Dec. 18. BLS reported that the fatal injury rate decreased to 3.5 per 100,000 full-time equivalent workers from 3.6 in 2016.

Fatal falls were at their highest level in the 26-year history of the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI) and accounted for 887 workers' deaths (17 percent of the total). Transportation incidents remained the most frequent fatal event in 2017, with 2,077 (40 percent) occupational fatalities. Violence and other injuries by persons or animals decreased 7 percent in 2017, with homicides and suicides decreasing by 8 percent and 5 percent, respectively.

Unintentional overdoses due to non-medical use of drugs or alcohol while at work increased 25 percent, from 217 in 2016 to 272 in 2017. This was the fifth consecutive year in which unintentional workplace overdose deaths have increased by at least 25 percent.

Contact with objects and equipment incidents were down 9 percent (695 in 2017 from 761 in 2016), with caught in running equipment or machinery deaths down by 26 percent (76 in 2017 from 103 in 2016).

BLS also reported that fatal occupational injuries involving confined spaces rose 15 percent to 166 in 2017 from 144 in 2016, while crane-related workplace fatalities fell to their lowest level ever recorded in the CFOI, to 33 deaths in 2017.

There were 258 fatalities among farmers, ranchers, and other agricultural managers in 2017. Approximately 63 percent of these farmers were age 65 and over (162), with 48 being age 80 or older. Of the 258 deaths, 103 involved a farm tractor.

BLS also reported that 15 percent of the fatally injured workers in 2017 were age 65 or over – and this is a series high. By contrast, in 1992, the first year CFOI published national data, that figure was 8 percent.

Download Center

  • Hand Safety Program

    Hand injuries are the #1 preventable industrial accident worldwide. In REThinking Hand Safety, the most comprehensive book on hand safety, you'll learn how top companies have reduced hand injuries by up to 90% and what the most successful hand safety programs have in common. Get your free copy today!

  • Free 1-on-1 Consultations

    Is your company ready to reduce hand injuries? Schedule a free meeting with a Superior Glove hand safety expert and learn how to reduce hand injuries, lower PPE costs, and increase worker productivity. Our 1-on-1 consultations offer personalized advice and recommendations for your specific needs and concerns.

  • Glove 101 Guide

    Choosing the right safety gloves for your workers can be a daunting task. That’s where some basic knowledge of gloves can really come in handy! In this comprehensive guide you’ll find key information you need to know about safety gloves from types of gloves and materials to additives, treatments, safety standards, and more.

  • Sample Program

    Find the right safety gloves for your team and try before you buy—in just 3 easy steps! Simply add the products you want to try to your sample box, complete the sample request form, and wait for your samples to arrive at no cost to you.

  • Water Protection Product Guide

    Find the right safety gloves for your workers that are designed to protect in wet environments. From light and flexible to heavy duty, find the best water-resistant gloves with mechanical protection to safeguard workers.

  • Superior Glove

Featured Whitepaper

OH&S Digital Edition

  • OHS Magazine Digital Edition - November December 2022

    November December 2022

    Featuring:

    • IH: GAS DETECTION
      The Evolution of Gas Detection
    • OSHA TOP 10
      OSHA's Top 10 Most Frequently Cited Standards for FY 2022
    • FALL PROTECTION
      Enhance Your Fall Protection Program with Technology
    • 90TH ANNIVERSARY
      The Future: How Safety WIll Continue to Evolve
    View This Issue