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Fatal Work Injuries Up in U.S.

Nearly 16 Fatal Work Injuries Per Day in 2005, Mainly in Highway Accidents
WebMD Health News
Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

April 5, 2007 -- The U.S. had 5,702 fatal work injuries in 2005, a rate of nearly 16 deaths per day, with highway accidents leading the way.

That's according to preliminary CDC data.

There were 527 more work deaths in 2005 than in 2004, notes the CDC.

For the 14th year in a row, highway accidents were the leading cause of fatal work injuries in 2005.

Overall, transportation caused 43% of fatal work injuries in 2005. More than half of those work-related transportation fatalities -- 58% -- occurred on highways.

Contact with objects and equipment accounted for 18% of fatal work injuries in 2005. That includes 604 workers who died after being struck by an object (11% of fatal work injuries in 2005).

Assaults and violent acts caused 14% of fatal work injuries in 2005. Homicide killed 564 workers in 2005. That's 10% of fatal workplace injuries in 2005, notes the CDC.

Falls caused 13% of fatal work injuries in 2005, according to the CDC.

The CDC reports that "since 1992, the number of deaths resulting from highway incidents, falls, and being struck by an object has increased, and the number of homicides has decreased.

"Although substantial improvements have been made, preventable deaths from work-related injuries continue to occur at a rate of nearly 16 deaths per day," states the CDC. "These findings suggest that workers continue to be at high risk for fatal highway-related incidents and falls."

The CDC calls for strategies to prevent workplace deaths. The findings appear in the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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