Construction Workplace Deaths Decline in 2017

Source: Dwight Smith - 123RF

The latest annual Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) report on fatal accidents, released by the DOL Tuesday, shows that private-sector construction deaths on the job were down slightly from the 5,190 fatal injuries reported in 2016.

Overall, BLS said, total fatal U.S. workplace accidents decreased by less than 1%, to 5,147 and the fatality rate was down slightly, to 3.5 from 2016’s 3.6.

But 2017’s construction fatalities still were higher than 2015’s 937 and 2014’s 899.

The report says that construction’s 2017 fatality rate also fell, to 9.5 per 100,000 full-time workers, from 10.1 in 2016 and in 2015.

Fatal falls were at their highest level in the 26-year history of the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI) accounting for 887 (17 percent) worker deaths. Transportation incidents remained the most frequent fatal event in 2017 with 2,077 (40 percent) occupational fatalities.

Violence and other injuries by persons or animals decreased 7 percent in 2017 with homicides and suicides decreasing by 8 percent and 5 percent, respectively.

Crane-related deaths decreased last year to 33, the lowest level since BLS started publishing the fatal accident reports, in 2003.