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A 'grim reminder': 2001 fatality stats released

A total of 8,786 fatal work injuries were reported in 2001, including fatalities related to the September 11th terrorist attacks, according to the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries, Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor.

A total of 2,886 work-related fatalities resulted from the events of September 11th. Excluding these fatalities, the overall workplace fatality count was 5,900 for 2001 - which was down slightly, less than one percent, from 2000.

Total employment also declined slightly in 2001. As a result, the occupational fatality rate was the same in 2001 as in 2000, 4.3 fatalities per 100,000 employed. The 2001 fatality rate was essentially unchanged over the prior year.

The construction industry, with fatalities at their highest level since the fatality census was first conducted in 1992, continued to report the largest number of fatal work injuries of any industry.

Fatalities resulting from transportation incidents decreased for the third year in a row, from 2,573 in 2000 to 2,517 in 2001. Highway incidents, however, increased about three percent from 2000 and continued to be the leading cause of on-the-job fatalities. Fatal work injuries resulting from workers being struck by vehicles or mobile equipment also increased slightly in 2001.

OSHA has great concern about the increase in deaths among construction workers, Hispanic and Latino individuals, and those dying from falls, said OSHA chief John Henshaw.

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