Safety first: workplace injury rates are decreasing

Andrey Kamenov

Andrey Kamenov, Ph.D. Probability and Statistics

Workplace safety in the U.S. is improving, and the fatal workplace injury rate is at an all-time low. In 2013 (the latest year for which data is currently available), there were only 3.3 cases per 100,000 workers across all industry sectors compared to 4.2 cases in 2006, a decrease of 19 percent.

Nevertheless, there are several states where the rate has unfortunately increased. The map below shows the change in workplace injury rate in 10 years, from 2002-2003 to 2012-2013.

The one state that stands out is North Dakota, where the occupational fatality rate has risen sharply in recent years. While the workplace injury rate is relatively stable in service industries, the goods-producing sectors (like construction or mining) are especially dangerous in this state. The number of fatal workplace injuries here increased by 200 percent in just two years, from 17 fatalities in 2010 to 51 fatalities in 2012.

Another trend visible on the map is that the fatality rate is substantially dependent on the state’s business profile. At the same time, companies in some industry sectors seem to pay more attention to workplace safety measures.

On the chart below you can see the four sectors with the highest numbers of occupational fatalities in the last year. While workplace safety has improved in every one of them, the most significant decrease is seen in the engineering construction sector: each year the total fatality count drops by one person per 100,000 employees. Over 10 years, that adds up to a 30 percent decrease, which is highly commendable.


Source: The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics CFOI data

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About Andrey Kamenov

Andrey Kamenov

Andrey Kamenov, Ph.D. Probability and Statistics

Andrey Kamenov is a data scientist working for Advameg Inc. His background includes teaching statistics, stochastic processes and financial mathematics in Moscow State University and working for a hedge fund. His academic interests range from statistical data analysis to optimal stopping theory. Andrey also enjoys his hobbies of photography, reading and powerlifting.

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