Today’s post comes from guest author Anthony L. Lucas, from The Jernigan Law Firm.
In 2015 (the most recent year for statistics), traffic-related fatalities saw the largest percentage increase in nearly five decades. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, there were 35,092 traffic-related fatalities in 2015, a 7.2 percent increase from 2014. Of the 35,092 traffic-related fatalities, 1,264 were occupational fatalities.
Traffic-related fatalities made up the largest category of occupational fatalities in 2015 and were up 9 percent from 2014. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2015 more than one out of every four occupational fatalities was the result of a roadway incident. Nearly half of the occupational traffic-related fatalities involved a semi, tractor-trailer, or other tanker truck.
Human factors contribute to the majority of crashes. Almost one out of every three fatalities involved drunk drivers or speeding, and one out of every ten fatalities involved distraction. According to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Director, Dr. Mark Rosekind, “The data tell us that people die when they drive drunk, distracted, or drowsy, or if they are speeding or unbuckled.”
According to the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics “Workplace Injuries and Illnesses – 2010” report, the United States is becoming a safer place to work. In 2010, there were 3.1 million non-fatal work injuries reported. This translates to 3.5 injuries per 100 full-time equivalents, a slight decrease from the 2009 rate of 3.6 injuries per 100 full-time workers. The rate of injuries per 100 workers has been decreasing every year since 2002. In 2010, Iowa reported an above average number of work injuries, averaging 4.4 injuries per 100 full-time equivalent workers.
Of these 3.1 million injuries, nearly 76% (2.2 million) of injuries occurred in the service industry. Service jobs make up 82.4% of the labor market. Nearly 24% (0.7 million injuries) occurred in manufacturing industries, which make up 17.6% of the labor market.
Surprisingly, the state owned nursing and residential care facilities workers reported the most injuries at 14.7 injuries per 100 full-time equivalents. The industry with the most reported injuries in 2009, Local Government supported Heavy and Civil Engineering Construction, improved from 12.5 injuries per 100 full-time equivalents to 8.6 injuries per 100 full-time equivalents in 2010.
The statistics are encouraging, but I look forward to the day where there are no fatal workplace injuries, and where workplace safety is a primary concern for all employers and workers.