Lesser Law Group

State workplace fatality numbers stay the same

There were 376 fatal workplace injuries in both 2017 and 2016, according to recently released data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The number of workplace deaths is comparable to the three previous years:

  • 388 in 2015
  • 344 in 2014
  • 396 in 2013

Nationally, the death rate dropped from 3.6 per 100,000 workers to 3.5 per 100,000 workers, the department found. In California, that number stayed at 2.2 workers per 100,000.

Other key findings

About one in five California workplace deaths were the result of slips and falls, while about one in five was the result of assaults and violent acts, the report from the Census of Fatal Occupational industries states.

Meanwhile 37 percent of state workplace deaths occurred in transportation-related incidents.

Nearly 40 percent of workplace fatalities involved Latinos, the report found – a number that has remained stable for the past 10 years.

Some national statistics

Nationally, there were 5,147 fatal work injuries, in 2017, down from 5,190 in 2016. Transportation incidents accounted for 40 percent of the fatalities while slips and falls accounted for 17 percent.

For the fifth consecutive year, accidental deaths due to overdose using alcohol or nonmedical drugs increased – from 217 in 2016 to 272 in 2017.

Fifteen percent of the fatalities involved workers age 65 or older. In 1992, the first year the department began publishing national data, only 8 percent of the deaths involved people 65 or older. Of those fatalities involving people 65 or older, about 25 percent of them were among farmers, ranchers and agricultural managers. Many of the deaths involved farm tractors.

Big-rig truck drivers saw 840 deaths in 2017, the highest number since the bureau began breaking numbers down into occupational categories in 2003.

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