Death by the Numbers


By Joan E. Collier

Most people liken the reading of government reports to a dental appointment. Yes, we  know we should do it, we know it’s good for us, but can we get it over with fast and move on to something fun?

A new offering from the Department of Labor Bureau of Statistics is a prime example of  the “you really should read this” category. Dryly—albeit precisely—entitled the “Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries Summary, 2014,” the report provides information and rows of data on the fatal dangers facing America’s workers.

Let me help you out here.

I read through the reports and cherry-picked some good news and bad news.

A preliminary total of 4,679 fatal work injuries were recorded in the United States in 2014, an increase of 2 percent over the revised count of 4,585 fatal work injuries in 2013. In total, 24 states reported higher numbers of fatal work injuries in 2014 than in 2013, while 22 states and the District of Columbia reported lower numbers. Four states reported the same number as in 2013.

These states showed reductions of at least 10 percent in 2014 compared to 2013:

Kudos to those states. But take a look at these numbers, where fatalities jumped double digits percentage-wise in 2014 from 2013:

Some other noteworthy gleanings from the various charts:

There. All done. That wasn’t so bad, was it?

(Read more Work Comp Nation blogs here.)

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