There were 5,333 fatal work injuries recorded in the United States in 2019, a 2% increase from the 5,250 in 2018, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports.
The 5,333 fatal injuries in 2019 represent the largest annual number since 2007. According to BLS, a worker died every 99 minutes from a work-related injury.
Driver/sales workers and truck drivers incurred 1,005 fatal occupational injuries – the highest number recorded since this series began in 2003. In fact, nearly one out of every five fatally injured workers had been employed as a driver/sales worker or truck driver.
Fatalities among workers age 55 and over increased 8% from 1,863 in 2018 to 2,005 in 2019, which is the largest number ever recorded for this age group.
Hispanic or Latino worker fatalities were up 13% to 1,088 in 2019 — a series high since 9% reported in 1992, the first year of this series, and made up 20% of all fatal work injuries in 2019.
Transportation incidents increased 2% in 2019 to 2,122 cases, the most cases since this series
began in 2011. Events involving transportation incidents continued to account for the largest share of fatalities. Falls, slips and tripping fatalities rose by 11% in 2019 to 880.
Exposure to harmful substances or environments led to the deaths of 642 workers in 2019, the highest figure since the series began in 2011. Overdoses of drugs or alcohol increased for the seventh consecutive year to 313 in 2019. Fatalities from fires and explosions decreased 14% to a total of 99.
The 2019 statistics will be the last ones for awhile that won’t include worker deaths stemming from the Covid 19 virus, which are bound to be included in a separate category when it comes time for the 2020 numbers to be reported by the bureau.