Workplace Fatalities Flat In 2010

Workplace injuries in the United States totaled 4,547 in 2010, down four from the previous year, according to recently released preliminary data by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. At the same time, total hours worked were up slightly over 2008 and...


Workplace injuries in the United States totaled 4,547 in 2010, down four from the previous year, according to recently released preliminary data by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. At the same time, total hours worked were up slightly over 2008 and 2009, although not necessarily among historically high-risk industries.

Among manufacturing industries, there were 320 fatalities in 2010, compared with 319 in 2009. Preliminary data among selected manufacturing sectors show: 53 were in food manufacturing, 47 were in fabricated metal products, 34 in wood product manufacturing, 31 in transportation equipment manufacturing, 24 in chemical manufacturing and 11 in paper manufacturing.

At 751, the construction industry recorded more fatalities than any other industry.

Overall Fatalities by Incident:

  • By incident type, the number of overall fatal work injuries from fires and explosions was 187 in 2010, an increase of 65 percent from 2009.
  • Workplace homicides dropped by 7 percent to 506 cases. That's a drop of greater than 50 percent from a high of 1,080 reported in 1994.
  • Fatal falls declined slightly, falling to 635 in 2010 from 645 in the previous year.
  • Fatal injuries from being hit by objects or equipment dropped 4 percent to 402.
  • Deaths related to exposure to harmful substances or environments increased by five to 409.
  • Transportation-related incidents accounted for nearly two of every five fatal work injuries in 2010. The total was 1,766 in 2010, down from 1,795 in the previous year.

Final data from the bureau's Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries program will be released in early 2012.

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