BLS Profiles Fatal Work Injuries by Industry

According to the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries, released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), construction continued to record the highest number of fatal injuries of any major industry, although the total for construction was down 9 percent from the series high recorded in 2001.

Fatal work injuries in mining also were lower, due to declines in coal mining and in oil and gas extraction. Fatal work injuries in manufacturing, transportation and public utilities, retail and wholesale trade, services, and government also declined from 2001 levels.

Fatal work injuries in the agriculture, forestry and fishing industry increased about 6 percent in 2002, due to increases in forestry and in agricultural crop production fatalities. Fatal work injuries in commercial fishing historically one of the more hazardous industries were down sharply, from 60 in 2001 to 31 in 2002.

Rates of fatal work injury in 2002 were highest in the mining, agriculture/forestry/fishing, construction and transportation/public utilities industries. The mining industry recorded a rate of 23.5 fatal work injuries per 100,000 workers in 2002, the highest of any major industry, but down about 22 percent from the rate recorded in 2001. Fatal work injury rates for all other major industries also were down in 2002, except in finance, insurance and real estate, which were unchanged, and in transportation and public utilities (up slightly).

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