More contracted workers died on the job in 2014 than 2013, according to preliminary numbers released last week by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. Contracted workers are those employed by one firm but working at the behest of another firm that controls the worksite where the fatality took place. Overall, fatal work injuries among all types of workers also rose.
The report said 797 contracted workers died from fatal workplace injuries in 2014, up 6% from 749 deaths in 2013. The fatalities are also up from 715 in 2012 and 542 in 2011.
Fatal workplace injuries among contracted workers represented 17% of all fatal work injury cases in 2014, up from 16% in 2013.
Four types of incidents constituted a greater share of fatalities among contracted workers than they did for other workers:
- Falls to a lower level: 33% of all fatal injuries to contracted workers
- Struck by object or equipment: 17%
- Pedestrian vehicular incidents: 12%
- Exposure to electricity: 9%
Fatally injured workers were most often contracted by:
- Private construction firm: 21% (164 workers)
- Government entity: 19% (148 workers)
- Private financial activities: 10% (81 workers)
- Private mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction: 9% (72 workers)
- Private manufacturing: 9% (70 workers)
More than half of all contracted workers (415 workers) were working in construction and extraction occupations when fatally injured. Decedents in this occupation group were most often employed as construction laborers (108); electricians (48); first-line supervisors of construction trades and extraction workers (44); roofers (42); and painters, construction and maintenance (25). Among contracted workers who were employed outside the construction and extraction occupation group, the largest number of fatal occupational injuries was incurred by heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers (76 workers); landscaping and groundskeeping workers (21); security guards (17); tree trimmers and pruners (16); heating, air conditioning, and refrigeration mechanics and installers (15); and excavating and loading machine and dragline operators (13).
Texas recorded the highest number of fatal workplace injuries for contractors at 122 in 2014, up from 108 in 2013, according to the preliminary numbers. Florida and California followed at 64 and 51, respectively.
Among all types of workers, 4,679 fatal work injuries were recorded in 2014, up 2% from 4,585 in 2013.