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Workplace fatalities in construction increase for the first time since 2006

August 27, 2013

Fatal work injuries in the private construction industry increased 5 percent from 2011 to 2012. The 775 fatal work injuries in construction in 2012 were the highest number of fatal work injuries among all major industries. The increase in 2012 follows five consecutive years of declining fatal injury counts.  Fatal injuries in construction are down 37 percent since 2006.

Number of fatal occupational injuries, private industry, 2003–2012

Private industry, total


Goods producing


  Agriculture, forestry, fishing, and hunting


  Mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction








  Trade, transportation, and utilities




  Financial activities


  Professional and business services


  Education and health services


  Leisure and hospitality


  Other services, except public administration


In private industry in 2012, there were 3,945 fatal work injuries—a decrease of 6 percent from 2011 and a new series low.  Both goods-producing and service-providing industries showed declines.

From 2011 to 2012, among goods-producing industries, fatal work injuries in mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction increased 14 percent to 177—the highest level since 2007.  The number of fatal work injury cases in oil and gas extraction industries rose to a series high of 138 in 2012 from 112 in 2011.

Among service-providing industries in 2012, trade, transportation, and utilities experienced 1,152 fatal work injuries—a decrease from 1,246 in 2011.  Within trade, transportation, and utilities, the transportation and warehousing sector accounted for 677 fatal work injuries in 2012, a decrease of 10 percent over the revised 2011 count (749 fatalities). The number of fatal injuries in truck transportation, the largest subsector within transportation and warehousing in terms of employment, decreased 6 percent in 2012.

These data are from the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI), which is part of the BLS Injuries, Illnesses, and Fatalities program. Data for 2012 are preliminary. Data for 2011 are final. To learn more, see "National Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries in 2012 (Preliminary Results)" (HTML) (PDF) news release USDL-13-1699.



Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Workplace fatalities in construction increase for the first time since 2006 at (visited November 27, 2022).