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There were 5,333 fatal workplace injuries recorded in the United States in 2019, a 2% increase from the 5,250 in 2018 and the largest figure since 2007, according to data released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics on Wednesday.
Demographics data painted a different picture: fatalities among workers age 55 and over increased 8% from 1,863 in 2018 to 2,005 in 2019 and accounted for 38% of all workplace fatalities and is the largest number ever recorded for this age group. Hispanic or Latino worker fatalities were up 13% to 1,088 in 2019 — highest since 1992 — and made up 20% of fatalities reported in 2019.
There were 307 workplace deaths due to suicides and 313 due to unintentional overdoses, a figure that has increased steadily over the past seven years. Fatalities in the private construction industry increased 5 % to 1,061 — the largest total for that classification since 2007.
Those working as drivers or sales workers and truck drivers also saw the highest figure reported since 2003: 1,005 fatalities in 2019 and accounting for nearly 20% of all fatalities. Overall, events involving transportation incidents continued to account for the largest share of fatalities with transportation incidents increasing 2% in 2019 to 2,122 cases, the most cases since 2011, according to the data.
Other key figures provided include:
Overall, one worker died every 99 minutes from a work-related injury in 2019, with the fatal work injury rate at 3.5 fatalities per 100,000 full-time equivalent workers, which was the rate reported in 2018, according to the data.
The mother of a boy who died while illegally working at a farm failed to show that the farm owner’s actions were so egregious as to fall within an exception of the Workers Compensation Act.