For some industries in Pennsylvania, fatal workplace accidents are more common than others. Thankfully, the number of fatal injuries in the state have fallen over the last ten years. This phenomenon has occurred throughout the US.
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics outlines the state of Pennsylvania’s fatal workplace injuries from 2008 to 2017. In general, the trend is a slow march downward with 172 fatalities in the year 2017 from a high of 241 in 2008. Transportation incidents rank the highest at 35% with fatalities resulting from contact with equipment and objects coming in second with 20%.
The number one industry for fatal occupational injuries is the warehousing and private transportation sectors. The highest risk for fatal injuries occurred in long-distance general freight trucking. Construction workers accounted for a higher number than the average number of fatalities. Men have the highest risk of death from a workplace injury according to the statistics.
OSHA shows the number of fatal occupational accidents for the US in 2018 was 5,250. Of those, 21.1% were in the construction industry for private sector deaths. The most common causes include being caught-in or between, falls, electrocution and struck by an object. Falls remain the top risk for the industry at 33.5% out of the total deaths for construction.
The construction industry frequently violates the OSHA standards for fall protection. Other violations relate to scaffolding, ladders, respiratory protection, hazard communication, protection for the face and eyes and powered industrial trucks. Since the initiation of OSHA, the workplace has improved across all sectors for occupational deaths, injuries and illnesses.