A preliminary total of 4,383 fatal work injuries were recorded in the United States in 2012, down from a revised count of 4,693 fatal work injuries in 2011, according to a new report from the U.S. Labor Department.
The 2012 total represents the second lowest preliminary total since the report was first conducted in 1992. The rate of fatal work injury for U.S. workers in 2012 was 3.2 per 100,000 full-time equivalent workers, down from a rate of 3.5 per 100,000 in 2011.
Transportation incidents accounted for more than 2 out of every 5 fatal work injuries in 2012. Of the 1,789 transportation-related fatal injuries, about 58% or 1,044 cases, were roadway incidents involving motorized land vehicles.
Among service-providing industries in the private sector, fatal work injuries in transportation and warehousing accounted for 677 fatal work injuries in 2012, a decrease of 10% over the revised 2011 count of 749 fatalities.
The number of fatal injuries in truck transportation, the largest subsector within transportation and warehousing in terms of employment, decreased 6% in 2012.
Fatal work injuries in transportation and material moving occupations were down 7% to 1,150 in 2012.
Drivers/sales workers and truck drivers was the subgroup within transportation and material moving occupations with the highest number of fatal injuries. Dropping 4%, this subgroup recorded 741 fatalities in 2012.
Among contractors who were employed outside the construction and extraction occupations group, the largest number of fatal occupational injuries was incurred by heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers, with 50 deaths.