Fatal Work Injuries Rise Again

A total of 5,703 fatal work injuries were recorded in the United States in 2004, an increase of 2 percent from the revised total of 5,575 fatal work injuries reported for 2003, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. For 2002, a total of 5,534 fatal work injuries were reported, according to the bureau.The rate at which fatal work injuries occurred in 2004 was 4.1 per 100,000 workers, up slightly from a rate of 4.0 per 100,000 workers in 2002 and 2003. The increase in the fatality rate in 2004 was the first since 1994 when the rate was 5.3 fatalities per 100,000 workers. Fatal work injuries among Hispanic workers were up 11 percent in 2004 after declining the previous two years. The number of fatally injured Hispanic or Latino workers rose from 794 in 2003 to 883 in 2004. The rate of fatal work injuries among Hispanic or Latino workers rose from 4.5 per 100,000 workers in 2003 to 4.9 per 100,000 in 2004. The number of fatal work injuries among older workers (55 years of age and older) rose 10 percent in 2004, but fatalities among younger workers (16 to 24 years of age) declined.Workplace homicides were down sharply in 2004 to the lowest level ever recorded by the fatality census.Fatal work injuries resulting from being struck by an object rose 12 percent in 2004, and overtook workplace homicide as the third most frequent type of fatal event.

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