September 24, 2003
In 2002, a total of 5,524 fatal work injuries were recorded; 2,695—about 49 percent—of these workplace fatalities were classified as highway incidents, homicides, or falls.
Fatal highway incidents were down 3 percent from 2001, but continued to be the most frequent type of fatal workplace event. Other types of fatal transportation events also declined, including aircraft incidents (down 22 percent) and workers struck by vehicle or mobile equipment (down 7 percent). Overall, fatal work injuries from transportation incidents declined for the fourth year in a row.
Workplace homicides were down about 5 percent in 2002, from 643 in 2001 to 609 in 2002. The number of workplace homicides in 2002 was the lowest recorded in the fatality census and represented a 44 percent decline from the high of 1,080 workplace homicides recorded in 1994. Workplace suicides also were down in 2002. (The homicide count for 2001 excludes the work-related fatalities that resulted from the terrorist attacks on September 11. These have been tabulated separately.)
Fatalities resulting from falls declined for the first time since 1998, from 810 in 2001 to 714 in 2002, a drop of 12 percent. Almost all types of fatal falls declined in 2002, though falls from ladders and falls from nonmoving vehicles increased slightly.
These data come from the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries, part of the BLS Injuries, Illnesses, and Fatalities program. Additional information is available from "National Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries in 2002" (PDF) (TXT), news release USDL 03-488.
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Most frequent types of work-related fatalities in 2002 on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2003/sept/wk4/art03.htm (visited October 02, 2014).