The Bureau of Labor Statistics has released its report on workplace fatalities for 2021. It shows the highest rate of workplace fatalities since 2016, with 3.6 deaths per 100,000 workers — nearly a 9% increase since 2020.
This translates to one death every 101 minutes.
While the overall. total increased by almost 9%, the number of Black workers involved in fatal accidents increased by more than 20%, climbing to 12.6% of all deaths. Almost a quarter of these deaths were the result of violence, compared with 14,7% for all workers.
Latino workers also had a higher than average number of workplace deaths, mostly from falls.
Women were also more likely to face violence. Women account for just 8.6 percent of all workplace fatalities, but 14.5% of intentional injuries by another person. There were 481 intentional shootings in 2021 and 387 intentional stabbings.
Types of deaths
Fatal violent events increased by more than 10% for injuries by a person. Including attacks by animals, violent deaths increased by 7.9%.
Transportation incidents were the largest category of fatalities, accounting for over 32% of all deaths. These included collisions and motor accidents as well as aircraft and boating incidents, railway incidents, and pedestrian accidents.
The figures do not include deaths from diseases such as COVID-19, though they do include deaths from exposure to hazardous substances, which increased each year. The AFL-CIO claims that harm caused by exposure to dangerous substances is not properly tracked by OSHA, and is actually higher than reported.
“The data shows we are still not doing enough to protect our workers. Workplace fatalities should never be considered a cost of doing business,” the National Safety Council (NSC) wrote. “Employers need to take a systematic approach to safety that includes having policies, training and risk assessment techniques in place to address major causes of fatalities and injuries. Leadership needs to set the tone from the top and engage all workers in safety, identify hazards and measure safety performance using leading indicators to continuously improve.”
Rexroth is extremely safety focused, making sure that motion control systems prevent accidents. In fact, fatalities from contact with machinery comprise the smallest proportion of all workplace deaths.
When you need service or support for your Rexroth motion control systems, contact us first. We are specialists, with decades of experience using and repairing Rexroth electric industrial motion control systems.