More contracted workers died on the job in 2015 than 2014, according to a report released last week by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. Overall, fatal work injuries among all types of workers also edged up. A contracted worker is defined as worker employed by one firm but working at the behest of another firm that exercises overall responsibility for the operations at the site where the decedent was killed.

According to the report, 829 contracted workers suffered fatal workplace injuries in 2015, up from 802 in 2014. The numbers are also up from 749 in 2013 and 715 in 2012 and 542 in 2011.

Most of the workers were contracted by a firm in the private construction industry or by a government entity, at 210 and 147 fatal workplace injuries respectively.

Fatal workplace injuries among contracted workers represented 17% of all fatal work injury cases in 2015.

Event or exposure of fatalities that caused fatalities among contracted workers in 2015 include:

  • Fall, slip, trip: 290
  • Contact with objects and equipment: 194
  • Transportation incidents: 156
  • Violence and other injuries by persons or animals: 41
  • Fire or explosion: 33

More than half of all contracted workers, 464 workers, were working in construction and extraction occupations when fatally injured.

Texas recorded the highest number of fatal workplace injuries for contractors at 119 in 2015, down from 122 in 2014. California and Florida followed at 70 and 68, respectively.

More information on contractor fatal workplace injuries is available online (Excel).

Among all types of workers, the report found 4,836 fatal work injuries were recorded in 2015, up slightly from 4,821 in 2014 and the highest since 5,214 fatal injuries in 2008. However, the overall rate of fatal work injury for workers in 2015 declined to 3.38 per 100,000 full-time equivalent workers from the 2014 rate of 3.43. Roadway incident fatalities caused most of the fatal work injuries, rising 9% year over year to 2,054 and accounting for more than one-quarter of the fatal occupational injuries in 2015.