Latest Fatality Data Released from BLS

The number of fatal work injuries during 1999 was\r\n6,023, nearly the same as the previous year's total, despite an\r\nincrease in employment, according to BLS.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) recently released its 1999 Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries.

The number of fatal work injuries that occurred during 1999 was 6,023, nearly the same as the previous year''s total despite an increase in employment, according to BLS.

Decreases in job-related deaths from homicides and electrocutions in 1999 were offset by increases from workers struck by falling objects or caught in running machinery.

Job-related homicides totaled 645 in 1999, a 10 percent drop from the 1998 total and a 40 percent decline from the 1,080 homicides that occurred in 1994, which had the highest count in the 8-year period.

Transportation incidents and fatal falls lead all other events. In 1999, fatal falls hit a 7-year high with 717 events. The number of fatal falls has been steadily increasing since 1992.

Of the 2,613 transportation incidents in 1999, 377 resulted from "stuck by" accidents.

On average, about 17 workers were fatality injured each day during 1999, according to BLS.

Eighty-three percent of fatally injured workers died the day they were injured, 97 percent died within 230 days.

Occupations with large numbers of fatal injuries included truck drivers, construction trade and farm occupations.

Mechanics and repairers also reported a noticeable increase in fatal work injuries over the previous year, reaching its highest level in the 8-year period.

In contrast, the number of fatalities in sales occupations fell to its lowest level during the same period, primarily because of the drop in homicides, said the data.

The full report is available on the BLS Web site at www.bls.gov.

by Virginia Sutcliffe

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