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BLS releases findings on 2011 workplace fatalities - II

In our previous workers' compensation defense post, we discussed the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) recent release of the preliminary results of the 2011 National Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI).

According to the CFOI, the (preliminary) total number of fatal work injuries was 4,609, which translates into a fatality rate of roughly 3.5 per 100,000 full-time employees. While this number may seem high, consider that it is actually a drop from the 2010 CFOI, which determined that there were 4,690 fatal work injuries, a fatality rate of 3.6 per 100,000 full-time employees.

While this year's report makes no mention of it, it is highly plausible that the continuing struggles of our nation's economy once again played a role in reducing the number of fatal work injuries. Specifically, many industries -- including those labeled "high-risk" -- continued to see a decline in the number of hours worked or workers employed. As a result, there were less people working and therefore being subjected to various workplace hazards.

Please see "BLS releases findings on 2011 workplace fatalities" for more information.

Today's post will continue the previous discussion of the 2011 CFOI ...

As previously stated, the CFOI is an extensive undertaking. It uses information provided by "diverse state, federal and independent data sources to identify, verify and describe fatal work injuries."

The survey itself encompasses a vast array of preliminary findings and profiles. For instance, it breaks the statistics regarding fatal workplace injuries down by industry/sector, occupation, types of incident, demographic characteristics and geography.

A complete analysis of the 2011 CFOI is clearly beyond the scope of a single blog post. However, it is still worthwhile to examine some of the survey's more remarkable preliminary findings:

  • The total number of work-related fatalities for salaried workers, wage workers and self-employed workers declined only slightly in 2011
  • The total number of work-related fatalities for workers between the ages of 20-24 rose 18 percent from 245 in 2010 to 288 in 2011
  • The transportation and warehousing sector had the largest number of recorded fatalities per industry: 733
  • Fatal transportation accidents once again accounted for 2 out of every 5 work-related fatalities
  • Truck drivers once again had the largest number of recorded fatalities per occupation: 759

Why are these figures so important for employers?

Employers in all industries should take the time to review the 2009 CFOI and consider implementing measures to prevent both workplace fatalities and serious workplace injuries.

Stay tuned for further developments in the area of workers' compensation defense law ...

This post was provided for informational purposes only and is not to be construed as legal advice.


U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, "National Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries in 2011" (Preliminary Results)" Sept. 20, 2012

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