Health & Safety Watch: Fatal Occupational Injuries on the Rise

Posted on 21 December 2017 by cradmin

According to an OSHA trade release this month, the Bureau of Labor Statistics has compiled the Census of 2016 Fatal Occupational Injuries reports, which shows a 7 percent increase from the previous year. A total of 5,190 workplace fatalities occurred in 2016, bring the rate up from 3.4 per 100,000 full-time workers to 3.6.

The highest category of fatal injury was transportation, which accounted for two out of every five. In addition, workplace violence injuries went up 23 percent, bringing the category into second place. Finally, the report shows that on-the-job drug overdoses have increased by 32 percent and at least 25 percent 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 Loren Sweatt, deputy assistant secretary of OSHA. “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.

She concluded by blaming the national opioid crisis for work-related deaths.

“As President Trump recognized by declaring opioid abuse a Nationwide Public Health Emergency, 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.”

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