The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) has released its final data on fatal injuries in the workplace in the year 2010. While such on-the-job deaths have been decreasing nationwide for some time, they are on the rise in Illinois.
According to the BLS data, released on April 25, 2012, fatal workplace injuries in Illinois increased by 30%, from a 2009 total of 158 to 206 in 2010. The report, from the BLS Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI) program, was released to coincide with Workers’ Memorial Day on April 28. The day is set aside to remember American workers who were injured, made ill, or lost their lives on the job.
Nationally, workplace deaths have been decreasing steadily since the mid-1990s, from a total of 6,632 in 1994 to 4,690 in 2010. This is a slight increase from the 2009 total of 4,551, which was the lowest ever recorded by CFOI.
The most frequent cause of a workplace death is a highway incident, with 1,044 occurring nationwide in 2010. Other frequent causes include homicide, falling, and being struck by an object. Workplace homicides, however, have fallen more than 50 percent since a high of 1,080 in 1994.
The largest number of workplace deaths occurred in the construction industry, but the highest rate of fatal work injuries was in the agriculture, fishing, forestry, and hunting industry. In terms of occupation, fishing and logging workers suffered the highest rate of on-the-job fatalities.