WASHINGTON, DC – The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Census of 2016 Fatal Occupational Injuries reports there were 5,190 workplace fatalities in 2016, a 7-percent increase from 2015. The fatal injury rate also increased from 3.4 per 100,000 full-time equivalent workers in 2015 to 3.6 in 2016.
More workers lost their lives in transportation incidents than any other event in 2016, accounting for about two out of every five fatal injuries. Workplace violence injuries increased by 23 percent, making it the second most common cause of workplace fatality. Today’s report also shows the number of overdoses on the job increased by 32 percent in 2016, and the number of fatalities has increased by at least 25 percent annually since 2012.
Loren Sweatt, Deputy Assistant Secretary for OSHA, issued the following statement regarding the report:
“Today’s occupational fatality data show a tragic trend with the third consecutive increase in worker fatalities in 2016 – the highest since 2008. America’s workers deserve better.
“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.
“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.”
Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA’s role is to ensure these conditions for America’s working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit www.osha.gov.
Editor’s note: The statistic on fatal injuries caused by transportation incidents in 2016 was incorrectly reported in a prior version.