In 2014, 4,821 people were killed on the job, up 5 percent from the 4,585 reported in 2013 and the highest number since 2008, when 5,214 were killed, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Driving the numbers in part were deaths in private construction, which grew 9 percent to 899 - the largest number of construction deaths since 2008, when construction employment started its recessionary plunge. Since its low point in January 2011, construction employment had risen 16 percent by December 2014 and is up 23 percent as of March.

The largest group in the 2014 deaths, 41 percent, were killed in transportation incidents - truck drivers in accidents, workers struck by trains or cars, pilots killed in plane crashes, or crew members killed on boats.

Falls killed 14 percent. Contact with objects or equipment took 10 percent of lives, and homicides accounted for 8 percent of all workers who died. Fires and explosions cost 3 percent their lives. Fatalities in oil and gas extraction rose to 144 in 2014, the highest recorded.

Men were generally more likely to die on the job, with 4,454 losing their lives at work compared with 367 women. Nearly one in five women who lost their lives at work died from a homicide, with the greatest threat from a relative or domestic partner. Men were more likely to be killed during a robbery.

The U.S. Labor Department reported that 1,691 workers over age 55 died in 2014 - the highest number ever recorded for this group, and more than one in three of the 4,821 people killed on the job that year.

Workers over 65 were particularly affected, with 10.7 per 100,000 workers killed on the job, compared with the all-worker injury rate of 3.4 per 100,000.

Source: Philadelphia Inquirer