Workplace Deaths Declined in 2000

A total of 5,915 fatal work injuries were recorded in 2000, a decline of about 2 percent from 1999, according to the latest data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

A total of 5,915 fatal work injuries were recorded in 2000, a decline of about 2 percent from 1999, according to the latest data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The decline occurred even though overall employment increased in 2000.

Nationwide, what''s the deadliest job in America? Being a truck driver, according to the new data. Last year, 852 truckers lost their lives.

But if you look just at the chance of dying, there are worse occupations.

Nationally, timber cutters have the highest chance of dying. Last year, for every 1,000 timber cutters, 1.2 lost their lives on the job.

Fishermen face the second-highest chance of dying. Out of every 1,000 fisherman last year, 1.1 died on the job.

What''s the third deadliest job? One out of every 1,000 pilots died last year.

Construction again recorded the highest number of fatal work injuries of any industry, although the total for the industry was down about 3 percent in 2000 -- the first decline in construction since 1996.

OSHA has seen a big increase in the number of workers who have fallen to their deaths. Last year, 54 workers died from construction-related falls, compared to 38 who died by falling in 1999.

The number of job-related homicides increased for the first time in six years from 651 in 1999 to 677 in 2000. For those workplace homicides where the motive could be ascertained, homicides in which robbery was the initial motive increased from 225 cases in 1999 to 291 cases in 2000.

In terms of demographics, the numbers of fatal work injuries among white and black workers were lower in 2000, but fatal injuries among Hispanic or Latino workers were up sharply, from 729 in 1999 to 815 in 2000.

Fatal work injuries to men were down nearly 3 percent, although fatalities to women increased slightly in 2000.

On average, about 16 workers were fatally injured each day in America during 2000.

The statistical break-down by states revealed that thirty-three states and the District of Columbia reported fewer fatal work injuries in 2000 than in 1999.

Southern states, including Texas, Florida, North Carolina, Georgia and Louisiana experienced the most fatalities in 2000.

by Virginia Foran

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