Check out our 2024 Corporate Sustainability Report!

Feds Say 4,679 Workers Died in Accidents During 2014 | Construction News

A preliminary total of 4,679 fatal work injuries were recorded in the United States in 2014, an increase of 2% over the revised count of 4,585 fatal work injuries recorded in 2013, according to results from the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI) conducted by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The preliminary rate of fatal work injury for U.S. workers in 2014 was 3.3 per 100,000 full-time equivalent (FTE) workers. The revised rate for 2013 was also 3.3.

Revised 2014 data from CFOI will be released in the late spring of 2016. Over the last 5 years, net increases to the preliminary count have averaged 173 cases, ranging from a low of 84 in 2011 (up 2%) to a high of 245 in 2012 (up 6%).

Key preliminary findings of the 2014 Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries:

The number of fatal work injuries in private goods-producing industries in 2014 was 9% higher than the revised 2013 count but slightly lower in private service-providing industries.

Fatal injuries were higher in mining (up 17%), agriculture (up 14%), manufacturing (up 9%), and construction (up 6%).

Fatal work injuries for government workers were lower (down 12%).

Falls, slips, and trips went up 10%, to 793 in 2014 from 724 in 2013. This was driven largely by an increase in falls to a lower level to 647 in 2014 from 595 in 2013.

Fatal work injuries involving workers 55 years of age and over rose 9%, to 1,621 in 2014, up from 1,490 in 2013. The preliminary 2014 count for workers 55 and over is the highest total ever reported by CFOI.

After a sharp decline in 2013, fatal work injuries among self-employed workers increased 10% in 2014, from 950 in 2013 to 1,047 in 2014.

Women incurred 13% more fatal work injuries in 2014 than in 2013. Even with this increase, women accounted for only 8% of all fatal occupational injuries in 2014.

Fatal work injuries among Hispanic or Latino workers were lower in 2014, while fatal injuries among non-Hispanic white, black or African-American, and Asian workers were all higher.

In 2014, 797 decedents were identified as contracted workers, 6% higher than the 749 fatally-injured contracted workers reported in 2013. Workers who were contracted at the time of their fatal injury accounted for 17% of all fatal work injury cases in 2014.

The number of fatal work injuries among police officers and police supervisors was higher in 2014, rising from 88 in 2013 to 103 in 2014, an increase of 17%.


Worker characteristics

Fatal injuries to self-employed workers rose 10% in 2014 to 1,047, up from 950 in 2013. Although higher than in 2013, the 2014 preliminary total for self-employed workers is about the same as the 10-year average for the series.

Fatal injuries among wage and salary workers remained at about the same level as in 2013.

Fatal work injuries involving workers age 45 to 54 years, 55 to 64 years, and 65 years of age and over all increased in 2014 compared to 2013 totals. The number of workers 55 years and over who were fatally injured in 2014 increased 9%, to 1,621, the highest annual total since the inception of the fatality census in 1992.

Workers of a wide variety of ages are included in the 2014 CFOI counts – 8 workers under the age of 16 are included, as well as 8 workers age 90 and over.

Fatal injuries among women rose 13% in 2014, to 359 from 319 in 2013.

Fatal work injuries among men in 2014 were slightly higher than the previous year. Consistent with previous years, men accounted for 92% of all fatal occupational injuries.

Fatal work injuries among Hispanic or Latino workers fell 3%, to 789 in 2014, compared to 817 in 2013.

Fatal work injuries were higher among non-Hispanic white, non-Hispanic black or African-American, and non-Hispanic Asian workers.

Overall, there were 827 fatal work injuries involving foreign-born workers in 2014. These 827 foreign-born workers came from more than 80 countries, of which the greatest share (334 or 40%) were born in Mexico. Of the 789 fatal work injuries incurred by Hispanic or Latino workers, 503 (64%) involved foreign-born workers.

Of the 134 fatal work injuries incurred by non-Hispanic Asian workers, 116 (87%) involved foreign-born workers. For more detailed information on fatal injuries by worker characteristics, see the worker characteristics table in the 2014 data section at


Type of incident

Fatal falls, slips, and trips were up 10% in 2014 from the previous year. Falls to lower level were up 9% to 647 from 595 in 2013, and falls on the same level increased 17%. In 532 of the 647 fatal falls to lower level, the height of the fall was known. Of those cases in which the height of fall was known, four-fifths involved falls of 30 ft. or less (427) while about two-thirds (340) involved falls of 20 ft. or less.

Work-related injury deaths due to contact with objects and equipment were down slightly from the revised 2013 number (721 to 708). The largest proportion of fatal injuries in this category (34%) occurred when workers were struck by falling objects or equipment. The next largest share (28%) involved injuries in which decedents were struck by powered vehicles in non-transport situations (e.g., struck by a rolling vehicle or by a vehicle that had tipped over while on jacks). For more detailed information on fatal injuries by incident, see the event tables in the 2014 data section at



Transportation and material moving occupations accounted for the largest share (28%) of fatal occupational injuries of any occupation group. Fatal work injuries in this group rose 3% to 1,289 in 2014, the highest total since 2008.

Drivers/sales workers and truck drivers (see chart 2) accounted for nearly 2 out of every 3 fatal injuries in this group (835 of the 1,289 fatal injuries in 2014). In this group, drivers/sales workers increased 74% to 54 in 2014, and heavy and tractor-trailer drivers had their highest total since 2008 (725 fatalities in 2014).

Fatal work injuries in construction and extraction occupations increased 5% (40 cases) in 2014 to 885. This is the highest total for this occupation group since 2008.

The fatal injury rate for workers in construction and extraction occupations was 11.8 per 100,000 FTE workers in 2014 and 12.2 per 100,000 FTE workers in 2013.

Fatal injuries among construction trades workers increased 3% in 2014 to 611 fatalities, the highest count since 2009. Fatal work injuries to construction laborers, the occupation within construction trades workers with the highest number of fatalities, decreased by 14 cases in 2014 to 206.

Conversely, the number of fatally-injured electricians increased by 14 cases in 2014 to 78. The number of fatal work injuries among protective service occupations decreased 15% in 2014 to 211 fatalities, a series low for this occupation group.

For more detailed information on fatal injuries by occupation, see the occupation tables in the 2014 data section at

Industry  Incidence rates for 2014 by industry and case type will be published in October 2015, and information on 2014 case circumstances and worker characteristics will be available in November 2015. For additional data, access the BLS website:


Lift & Access is part of the Catalyst Communications Network publication family.