On the job fatalities in 2014 increased to 4,679, more than one-third of which occurred among older workers, according to a preliminary report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The total fatality count is a 2 percent increase from 2013, BLS states in its report. The fatality rate for 2014-3.3 deaths per 100,000 full-time workers stayed the same as the previous year.
More older workers are dying on the job. A total of 1,621 employees 55 or older were killed at work in 2014-the highest number ever reported for this age group. Fatalities among women also increased, accounting for about 8 percent of total workplace deaths.
Deaths among Hispanic and Latino workers which have received increased attention in recent years fell 3 percent.
Specific industries that experienced fatality increases include:
- Mining up 17 percent
- Agriculture up 14 percent
- Manufacturing up 9 percent
- Construction up 6 percent
Civilian occupations with high fatality rates
- Logging workers 109.5
- Fishing workers 80.8
- Aircraft pilots/engineers 63.2
- Roofers 46.2
Fatal injuries due to transportation incidents increased slightly in 2014 to 1,891, which accounted for 40 percent of all fatal occupational injuries. Of those, more than half were considered roadway incidents, which involved vehicle crashes.
Other major events causing workplace deaths included falls to a lower level (14 percent of all deaths), struck-bys (11 percent) and homicides (9 percent).
“Far too many people are still killed on the job-13 workers every day taken from their families tragically and unnecessarily,” Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez said in a Department of Labor press release. “These numbers underscore the urgent need for employers to provide a safe workplace for their employees as the law requires.”
The data is preliminary; a final report is expected this coming spring. In the past five years, the number of fatalities in the final report increased by an average of 173 cases over the preliminary count. If this pattern holds, the total number of workplace deaths in 2014 could by the highest since 2010.