The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported in March that fatal work injuries totaled 97 in New Jersey for the year 2015, a 10 percent increase from the previous year, according to Chief Regional Economist Martin Kohli in the release.
This compares nationally to the 4,836 fatal work injuries recorded in 2015, up from 4,821 in 2014.
The Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI), part of the BLS Occupational Safety and Health Statistics (OSHS) program, keeps track of all fatal work injuries that occur in the U.S. throughout the year, the report stated. The CFOI program uses state, federal, and independent data sources to verify fatal work injuries to ensure counts are as complete and accurate as possible. For this most recent 2015 data, more than 21,400 source documents were reviewed as part of the data collection process, the report stated.
Throughout the years, fatal occupational injuries in New Jersey have ranged from a high of 145 in 1993 to a low of 81 in 2010, according to the report.
In 2015 in New Jersey, transportation incidents resulted in 37 fatal work injuries and falls, slips, or trips accounted for 24 fatalities, the report said. Together, these two categories accounted for 63 percent of all workplace fatalities in the state, it added.
Violence and other injuries by people or animals was found to be the third most frequent fatal work event in New Jersey in 2015 with 18 fatalities, an increase from 11 recorded in 2014. Contact with objects and equipment resulted in 11 work-related deaths – a number that remained unchanged from the prior year, the report said.
The private construction industry sector had the largest number of fatalities in New Jersey with 22, and falls to a lower level accounted for 12 worker deaths in the construction sector. Ten of those fatally injured in this sector worked in specialty trade contracting.
The private transportation and warehousing sector had 19 workplace fatalities, while general freight trucking accounted for 11, or 58 percent, of the fatal injuries in this industry.
Additionally, two occupational groups – transportation and material moving and construction and extraction – accounted for the highest number of workplace fatalities. Among transportation and material moving occupations, the largest number of fatalities involved motor vehicle operators. The report found 15 motor vehicle operator fatalities recorded in 2015. Construction trades workers also accounted for 14 of the 21 fatalities among construction and extraction workers.
Nationally, transportation incidents were found to be the most frequent fatal workplace event in 2015, accounting for approximately 42 percent of fatal work injuries. Falls, slips or trips were the second most frequent type of event, accounting for 17 percent of national fatal work injuries, followed by contact with objects and equipment at 15 percent, the report said.
Additional highlights from the report were:
- Men accounted for 98 percent of the work-related fatalities in New Jersey, compared to 93 percent nationwide. Transportation incidents made up 37 percent of the fatalities for men in New Jersey.
- White-non-hispanics accounted for 54 percent of those who died from a workplace injury. Nationwide, this group accounted for 67 percent of work-related deaths.
- Workers 55 years old and over accounted for 40 percent of the state’s work-related fatalities in 2015, compared to 35 percent of on-the-job fatalities nationally.
- Of the 97 fatally-injured workers in New Jersey, 86 percent worked for wages and salaries; the remainder were self-employed. Transportation incidents accounted for the largest share of fatalities for wage and salary workers. Among self-employed workers, half of the fatal events were associated with violence and other injuries by persons or animals.
For this report, BLS looked to the New Jersey Department of Health’s efforts in collecting data on fatal work injuries, as well as the efforts of all federal, state, local and private sector entities that provided source documents used to identify fatal work injuries.
These agencies include OSHA; the National Transportation Safety Board; the U.S. Coast Guard; the Mine Safety and Health Administration; the Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs (Federal Employees’ Compensation and Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation divisions); the Federal Railroad Administration; the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration; state vital statistics registrars, coroners and medical examiners; state departments of health, labor and industrial relations and workers’ compensation agencies; state and local police departments and state farm bureaus.
Source: The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
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