Worker deaths down in 2011, preliminary BLS data shows

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Washington – Preliminary data released Sept. 20 by the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows 4,609 workers died on the job in 2011, representing a slight decline from a final count of 4,690 workplace fatalities in 2010.

The preliminary rate of worker deaths in 2011 was 3.5 per 100,000 full-time equivalent workers, a decrease from the 2010 rate of 3.6.

Work-related deaths in private construction and mining fell by 7 percent and 10 percent, respectively, BLS said, while truck transportation injuries rose 14 percent from the previous year. Transportation incidents accounted for 41 percent of all work deaths in 2011, and 17 percent of worker deaths were due to intentional violence, including from homicides, animals and suicides.

BLS said it plans to release final data on fatal workplace injuries in the spring. In recent years, the final data has increased the total by about 3 percent, meaning the number of workplace deaths in 2011 could be higher than in 2010.

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