The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ (BLS) Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries Report, released today, shows the rate of fatal work injuries remained unchanged from 2017 to 2018. Data for calendar year 2019 is not yet available.
Fatal Work Injury Rate (BLS.gov)
Tragically, unintentional overdoses at work increased by 12 percent—the sixth consecutive annual increase and a reflection of the broader opioid crisis that our nation is facing. To combat this problem, President Trump has declared the opioid epidemic a National Health Emergency. OSHA also teamed with the National Safety Council on the release of a toolkit to help employers address opioid abuse in their workplaces and support workers in recovery. Request yours here: https://safety.nsc.org/rxemployerkit.
Suicide at work, which increased by 11 percent in 2018, is also a tragic public health problem that can have lasting harmful effects on families, workplaces, and communities. OSHA has a new webpage with free and confidential resources to help identify the warning signs of suicide and to help users know who and how to call for help.
OSHA’s December 18th report also showed a 14 percent decline in work-related fatal falls from heights, the lowest total since 2013.
Fatal Work Injuries by Major Event or Exposure (BLS.gov)
“OSHA will continue to use BLS data for enforcement targeting within its jurisdiction to help prevent tragedies,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Occupational Safety and Health Loren Sweatt. “Inspections for OSHA were up, and we will work with state plans so employers and workers can find compliance assistance tools in many forms or call the agency to report unsafe working conditions. Any fatality is one too many.”
Employers with concerns about meeting their safety obligations can contact CTI for consultation and prompt attention to their compliance needs.