Fatalities in construction rose in 2012 -- up five percent, even though the amount of hours in private construction rose only one percent, a clear disparity, the U.S. Labor Department reported last week. Interesting disparity, considering that fatal occupational injuries in construction had declined for the previous five years, down 37 percent since 2006. Guess that must have been the silver lining to the recession cloud. In 2012, 775 died in construction, up from 738 the year before.
In 2012, 177 people died in the private mining sector, with 138 of them dying in oil and gas extraction. The deaths in oil and gas extraction grew by 23 percent from 2011, and a new high for the series, the U.S. Labor Department reported. Another headline -- fatal injuries to young workers nearly doubled, from 10 to 19. Fourteen of the young workers, aged under 16, worked in agriculture.
The good news in the report is that the over all fatality rate has declined, from 3.5 fatalities per 100,000 workers to 3.2 fatalities.
The U.S. Labor Department last year began an initiative in 2011 to note whether workers who died on the job were employees or contractors. Of the 4,383 who died in 2012, 708, or just under one in six, were contractors. Most of them worked in construction or transportation.
As usual, the majority of people who die on the job die in transportation related incidents, i.e. accidents. One in four workers die that way.