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Government Report: Fatal Injuries Down Overall But Up in Construction, Roofing

EquipmentAs Labor Day weekend approaches we receive another reminder of the importance of workplace safety. Statistics released by federal government’s Bureau of Labor Statistics indicate that, while the overall number of fatal accidents in 2012 declined from the year before, the numbers of fatalities in construction, generally, and roofing, specifically, increased from the 2011.

A preliminary total of 4,383 fatal work injuries were recorded in the United States in 2012, down from a revised count of 4,693 fatal work injuries in 2011, according to results from the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI) conducted by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The 2012 total represents the second lowest preliminary total since CFOI was first conducted in 1992. The rate of fatal work injury for U.S. workers in 2012 was 3.2 per 100,000 full-time equivalent (FTE) workers, down from a rate of 3.5 per 100,000 in 2011.

Even one fatality is too many but the reduction means things appear to be moving in the right direction. The news in the report is not all good, however. While fatalities in construction and roofing are down significantly from their highest levels, last year both of these numbers increased from 2011.

Fatal injuries among construction trades workers rose in 2012 to 577 after 5 years of decline. This marked an 8 percent increase over the series low of 533 in 2011, but a 41 percent drop from the high of 977 reported in 2006…Fatal injuries to roofers, another subgroup within construction trades workers, rose to 70 in 2012, a 17 percent rise from 2011 marking the highest count in 5 years.

The census also reveals that fatal accidents involving falls declined slightly in 2012 from 2011.

This report underscores the importance of workplace safety and ensuring that everyone makes it safely home to their families every night after work.

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