Work-related deaths reached a 12-year high in 2019 at more than 5,300, according to new data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
A worker died every 99 minutes from a work-related injury in 2019, the BLS reported this month. The number of work-related deaths has steadily increased over the last five years, and 2019 was the deadliest year since 2007 for deaths on the job.
Drivers accounted for 1,480 of all work-related deaths in 2019 – around one in five workers who died on the job, BLS said. More than 1,060 deaths occurred in the private construction industry, another 12-year high.
But workers in the fishing and hunting industry had the highest mortality rates per 100,000 full-time workers, according to BLS, with 145 deaths per 100,000 people. They were followed by loggers, pilots and flight engineers and roofers.
An overwhelming number of workplace deaths were transportation incidents, which accounted for over 2,000 deaths. Falls, slips and trips followed, with over 880 deaths. Suicides and unintentional overdoses both accounted for more than 300 work-related deaths in 2019, too.
Among 2019’s disturbing trends was the increase in work-related deaths among Hispanic and Latino workers. Last year, 1,088 Hispanic or Latino workers died on the job, according to the BLS. Just three years earlier, in 2016, that number was 879. It’s the most marked increase among race and ethnic groups.
Jobs with highest number of work-related deaths in 2019
- Transportation and material moving: 1,481
- Construction and extraction: 1.066
- Service: 762
- Installation, maintenance and repair: 438
- Management, business, financial operations: 409
Fatal work injuries by event
- Transportation incidents: 2,122
- Falls, slips, trips: 880
- Violence and other injuries by people or animals (includes homicides and suicides): 841
- Contact with objects and equipment: 732
- Exposure to harmful substances or environment (includes substance overdoses): 642
Jobs with highest death rate per 100,000 full-time equivalent workers
- Fishing and hunting: 145 per 100,000
- Logging: 68.9 per 100,000
- Aircraft pilots and flight engineers: 61.8 per 100,000
- Roofers: 54 per 100,000
- Construction: 40 per 100,000