Worker deaths decline in 2007 to 5,657

Construction sector has largest number of fatal injuries, followed by transportation

WORKER FATALITIES FROM traumatic injuries on the job declined in 2007 from the previous year — 5,657 compared to 5,840 — according to an AFL-CIO report. Now in its 18th edition, “Death on the Job: the Toll of Neglect” provides national and state-by-state profiles of worker safety and health in the United States. It uses the latest data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), reporting that nearly 11,000 workers were injured or made ill each day in 2007, and 15 workers died each day. The report does not include deaths from occupational diseases, which claim the lives of an estimated 50,000 workers each year.

According to the report, highway crashes are the leading cause of workplace deaths, accounting for one-fourth of the fatal work injury total (1,414). The report also shows an increase in the number of fatalities by falls (847), assaults and violent acts (864), and workplace homicides (628).

While the number of deaths in construction decreased in 2007 (from 1,239 in 2006 to 1,204 in 2007), the construction sector still has the largest number of fatal work injuries of any industry, followed by transportation and warehousing (890).

To view the 160-page report in its entirety, visit the AFL-CIO Web site at