Fatal work injury rates for Pennsylvania employees have fluctuated over the last decade. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number has dropped significantly with 172 fatal injuries in the state in 2017, down from 241 in 2008. In the country, there are over 5,000 fatal work injuries each year.
The type of incident gives some insight into where the problems are and how they can be fixed. In Pennsylvania and throughout the nation, transportation incidents rank highest in the number of fatal injuries. Other common causes of death in the workplace include contact with equipment and objects, violence or injuries by animals or persons and exposure to harmful environments or substances.
The industry with the most fatal work-related injuries is the warehousing and transportation sector. Long-distance freight trucking seems to be exceptionally risky, along with the construction industry. Within the construction sector, most fatalities are caused by trips, slips and falls. Within the material moving and transportation occupations, tractor-trailer truck drivers made up a large percentage of the fatalities. In the extraction and construction field, construction trade workers accounted for most of the fatalities.
Of the fatalities in 2017, men made up 94% of them, which is comparable to the 93% throughout the state. Non-Hispanic, white workers accounted for close to 87% of the incidents, while nationwide this group only made up 67% of deaths. Those 25-54 years of age made up over half of the fatalities, both in Pennsylvania and throughout the country. In Pennsylvania, 23% of those who died were self-employed, while 77% worked for salaries or wages.
This is intended for educational purposes and should not be interpreted as legal advice.