Fatalities involving certain types of incidents were markedly higher than in the previous year, according to the Department of Labor's "National Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries in 2006."
Aircraft-related fatalities increased 44 percent, from 149 in 2005 to 215 in 2006. Multiple-fatality incidents, including the August 2006 Comair crash, contributed to the increase.
"The annual number of aircraft fatalities tends to be volatile and has ranged from a high of 426 fatalities in 1994 to a low of 149 in 2005," the authors of the census report wrote.
The fatality rate for certain industries was significantly higher than the overall rate of fatal work injuries. Coal mining, for instance, had a fatality rate of 49.5 per 100,000 workers, an 84 percent increase.
Forty-seven coal mining fatalities occurred in 2006, nearly half of which (21) occurred in only four multiple-fatality incidents. Only 22 fatalities happened in 2005.
It pays to be your own boss, though, and it pays to work at home. Not only can workers avoid the threat of workplace homicides--which hit an all-time low of 516 in 2006--but fatalities among self-employed workers were down 11 percent.
Chained to an assembly line in an auto manufacturing plant? Stuck driving a tractor trailer cross-country?
No need to fret there either. The overall rate of fatal work injuries reached a low of 3.9 per 100,000 in 2006, according to the report.
The low overall fatal work-injury rate could have been due in part to decreases in fatalities in transportation and warehousing; agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting; retail trade; professional and business services; and government.
The census is conducted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics' occupational safety and health statistics program. The 2006 census was the 15th conducted in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
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October 1, 2007
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