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The terrible toll continues

May 3, 2002
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On average, 17 workers were fatally injured each day during 1999, according to a recent report issued by the AFL-CIO. Eighty-three percent of fatally injured workers died the day of the incident. There were 235 multiple-fatality incidents, which resulted in 617 job-related deaths.

Transportation incidents, in particular highway crashes, continue to be the leading cause of workplace deaths, responsible for 2,613 or 43 percent of all fatalities in 1999. Highway crashes account for one-fourth of the fatal work injury total (1,491) and are at the highest level since the Bureau of Labor Statistics fatality census began in 1992.

Contact with objects and equipment claimed the lives of 1,029 workers in 1999. There was an 8 percent increase in the number of fatalities resulting from contact with objects and equipment.

One in five work-related deaths occur on construction sites, with 1,190 deaths (20 percent of all fatalities) reported in 1999. This makes the construction industry the most dangerous of any U.S. industry.

The jobs at greatest risk of work-related fatalities, based on the number of fatalities per 100,000 employed, were fishers (162.5/100,000), timber cutters (129.5/100,000) and sailors and deckhands (93.8/100,000).

The number of workplace homicides and electrocutions declined by 10 percent and 17 percent, respectively, in 1999.

Leading events that caused fatalities among women were highway-related incidents and homicide; for men they were highway-related incidents and falls.

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