Statistics Bureau of Labor Statistics

BLS: On-the-job deaths up among older workers; Latino deaths down

Bureau of Labor Statistics

Washington – On-the-job fatalities in 2014 increased to 4,679, more than one-third of which occurred among older workers, according to a preliminary report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The total fatality count is a 2 percent increase from 2013, BLS states in its report, released Sept. 17. The fatality rate for 2014 – 3.3 deaths per 100,000 full-time workers – stayed the same as the previous year.

More older workers are dying on the job. A total of 1,621 employees 55 or older were killed at work in 2014 – the highest number ever reported for this age group. Fatalities among women also increased, accounting for about 8 percent of total workplace deaths, the report states.

Deaths among Hispanic and Latino workers – which have received increased attention in recent years – fell 3 percent.

Specific industries that experienced fatality increases include mining (up 17 percent), agriculture (up 14 percent), manufacturing (up 9 percent) and construction (up 6 percent).

The data is preliminary; a final report is expected this coming spring. In the past five years, the number of fatalities in the final report increased by an average of 173 cases over the preliminary count. If this pattern holds, the total number of workplace deaths in 2014 could be the highest in five years.