dying on the job

see the afl-cio report below

Chairman Miller Statement on Revised Workplace Fatalities Statistics


WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Rep. George Miller (D-CA), chairman of the House Education and Labor Committee, issued a statement today on the release of revised statistics from the Bureau of Labor Statistics on workplace fatalities in 2006:


“We must not forget that these are not just numbers – we’re talking about real people, and for every workplace death in this country, there is a family somewhere that is grieving. The fact that things are going in the wrong direction is deeply disturbing. The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the Department of Labor need to do a better job of enforcing our nation’s health and safety laws. There is no substitute for strong enforcement of the law, especially if we want to protect those workers who perform the most dangerous jobs and those workers who are the most vulnerable to exploitation.”


The BLS found that the number of workplace deaths jumped by more than 2 percent between 2005 and 2006. Fatalities for Hispanic workers also rose – from 923 to 990 – to a rate of 4.9 deaths per 100,000 workers in 2006 from a rate of 4.7 in 2005. Preliminary BLS numbers issued last August on 2006 deaths initially showed that the number and rate of all workplace fatalities had decreased, including declining rates among Hispanic workers.

and here’s the government’s release:

Revisions to the 2006 Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI) file
The final count of fatal work injuries in the U.S. in 2006 was revised upward to 5,840, from the preliminary
count of 5,703. The overall 2006 fatality rate for the U.S. was revised upward from 3.9 per 100,000
employed workers to 4.0 per 100,000 employed workers.
The final numbers reflect updates to the 2006 Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI) file made after
the release of preliminary results in August 2007. Revisions and additions to the 2006 CFOI counts result
from the identification of new cases and the revision of existing cases based on source documents received
after the release of preliminary results.
A table summarizing the results of the update process appears on the next page. Among the important
changes resulting from the updates:
• The revised fatality total for 2006 represents a 2 percent increase over the final 2005 total. The
preliminary results released in August 2007 showed a decline in the number of cases. The higher
fatality rate resulting from the revision indicates that the fatal work injury rate in 2006 was
unchanged from the 2005 fatality rate.
• Fatal work injuries incurred by Hispanic or Latino workers rose by 53 cases from the preliminary
figure, bringing the total number for that worker group to 990 fatal work injuries. The higher
number of fatal work injuries among Hispanic or Latino workers also pushed the rate of fatal
injury for that worker group to 5.0 per 100,000 employed workers, up from the previouslyreported
rate of 4.7 per 100,000 employed workers for 2006. In 2005, 923 Hispanic workers were
fatally injured on the job and the rate of fatal injury among Hispanic workers in 2005 was 4.9 per
100,000 employed workers.
• The number of fatal work injuries involving foreign-born workers increased from 997 cases to
1,046 cases as a result of the updates. Of the 1,046 cases involving foreign-born workers, 667
involved Hispanic or Latino workers. Both the foreign-born total and the Hispanic or Latino
foreign-born total were new highs for the series.
• Fatal occupational injuries in California increased by 89 cases from the preliminary figure. As a
result of the increase, California surpassed Texas as the State with the highest number of fatal
work injuries in 2006. The totals for Oregon (up by 15), Georgia (9), and Florida (5) also
increased. Overall, 15 States revised the counts upward as a result of the update process.
• In terms of occupations, the largest revision in fatalities was in transportation and material moving
occupations (up by 38 fatalities), followed by construction and extraction occupations (15
• The industry sectors reporting the largest increases in fatal work injuries due to updates were
transportation and warehousing (28 new cases), government (19), construction (13), and
accommodation and food services (12).
The CFOI Program has compiled a count of all fatal work injuries occurring in the U.S. since 1992 by
using diverse data sources to identify, verify, and profile fatal work injuries. For more information, see
chapter 9 of the BLS Handbook of Methods, available online at http://www.bls.gov/opub/hom/homch9_a1.htm.
The revised data can be accessed using the following tools: Most Requested Statistics, Create
Customized Tables (One Screen), and Create Customized Tables (Multiple Screens). The original
August 2007 press release with the preliminary results can be found here: National Census of Fatal
Occupational Injuries in 2006. Additional tables and charts can be found on Current and Revised Data
and on the CFOI State page.


For a copy of the AFL-CIO Death on the Job report, go to http://www.aflcio.org/issues/safety/memorial/.

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