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Construction industry leads for number of workplace deaths

Over the course of 2016, which is the most recent year for which workplace fatality data was available, 5,190 workers died while on the job in the United States. Of these, 991 deaths occurred in the construction. Among these deaths, more than quarter (270) of the workers who died as a result of construction accidents were born outside the United States. New York had the fourth highest number of foreign-born worker fatalities (62) in 2016, behind Texas, California and Florida.

The AFL-CIO extrapolated the 2016 workplace fatality data in its annual report, "Death on the Job, The Toll of Neglect" published at the end of April. The 2016 workplace death toll was an increase over the previous year, when 4,836 people were killed on the job, resulting in a national rate of 3.6 deaths per 100,000 workers across all industries. While New York was 13th overall in terms of the number of work-related deaths in 2016, with a total of 272, its fatality rate of 3.1 per 100,000 workers was well below the national average.

Although New York's on-the-job death rate is lower than average, 2016 was its highest point in over five years. In 2013, for example 2.1 deaths occurred for every 100,000 workers in New York. The states with the 2016's highest fatality rates per 100,000 workers were Wyoming with 12.3, followed by Alaska (10.6), Montana (7.9), South Dakota (7.5) and North Dakota (7.0).

Construction accounted for more deaths than any other sector. Workplace violence, surprisingly, was the second most common cause for death on the job. In 2016, 866 people died from workplace violence, including 500 deaths that were classified as homicides. The Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing and Hunting industry was by far the most dangerous sector per capita. Peopled employed in the sector died on the job at a rate of 23.2 per 100,000 workers.

Source: AFL-CIO, "Death on the Job, The Toll of Neglect, 2018," accessed May 15, 2018.

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