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Declining workplace fatalities in manufacturing, 2003–17

September 26, 2019

The number of fatal work injuries in the private manufacturing industry declined 28 percent, from 420 in 2003 to a low of 303 in 2017. Workers in the private manufacturing industry experienced a total of 5,480 fatal injuries between 2003 and 2017. The highest annual count of fatal injuries during this period was 463 in 2004. Since then, the number and rate of fatal injuries has declined.

Number and rate of fatal work injuries in private manufacturing, 2003–17

Year

Number of fatal work injuries

Fatal work injury rate (per 100,000 full-time equivalent workers)

2003

420 2.5

2004

463 2.8

2005

393 2.4

2006

456 2.7

2007

400 2.4

2008

411 2.5

2009

319 2.3

2010

329 2.3

2011

327 2.2

2012

327 2.2

2013

312 2.1

2014

349 2.3

2015

353 2.3

2016

318 2.0

2017

303 1.9

Transportation incidents and contact with objects and equipment resulted in the largest number of fatal work injuries in manufacturing in 2017, with 79 fatal injuries each. These two categories accounted for about half of the 303 workplace fatalities in manufacturing in 2017.

Fatal work injuries in private manufacturing by major event, 2017

Event

Number of fatal work injuries

Transportation incidents

79

Contact with objects and equipment

79

Fall, slip, trip

50

Exposure to harmful substances or environments

41

Violence and other injuries by persons or animals

31

Fire or explosion

21

These data are from the Injuries, Illnesses, and Fatalities program. To learn more, see “National Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries in 2017.” In 2003, the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries began using the North American Industry Classification System to define industry.

SUGGESTED CITATION

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Declining workplace fatalities in manufacturing, 2003–17 on the Internet at https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2019/declining-workplace-fatalities-in-manufacturing-2003-17.htm (visited November 22, 2019).

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