As thousands enter the workforce, there were 43 fewer workplace fatalities in 2017 than the previous year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ National Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries in 2017 (CFOI) report released in December. The fatal injury rate also decreased from 3.6 percent in 2016 to 3.5 percent in 2017.
“While today’s report shows a decline in the number of workplace fatalities, the loss of even one worker is too many,” said Loren Sweatt, acting assistant secretary for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). “Through comprehensive enforcement and compliance assistance that includes educating job creators about their responsibilities under the law, and providing robust education opportunities to workers, OSHA is committed to ensuring the health and safety of the American workforce.”
In addition to the decline in overall fatalities, crane-related workplace fatalities, and fatal occupational injuries in the private manufacturing industry and wholesale trade industries reached their lowest points since the CFOI started in 2003.
“The scourge of opioid addiction unfortunately continues to take its toll on workers across the country, demonstrating the importance of this Administration’s efforts to tackle this crisis.”
The number of unintentional overdoses due to the nonmedical use of drugs or alcohol while at work increased by 25 percent – the fifth consecutive year overdose deaths rose by at least 25 percent.
Employers who need assistance in meeting their safety obligations can take advantage of OSHA’s no-cost and confidential On-Site Consultation Program. OSHA Training Institute Education Centers (OTIs) also provide training workers, employers, and other safety professionals across the nation.
Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA’s role is to ensure these conditions for America’s working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit www.osha.gov.