Federal OSHA Fatality Investigations for the Three Industries with the Highest Number of Fatalities FY2011-FY2012

03 Apr 2014 1:07 PM | Jim Rogers

Federal OSHA Fatality Investigations

for the Three Industries with the Highest Number of Fatalities

FY2011-FY2012


A recent analysis of fatality investigations conducted by OSHA for investigations conducted in FY2011 to FY2012 revealed that the three industries with the highest number of fatalities were landscaping services (with a total of 160 investigations); highway, street and bridge construction (with a total of 129 investigations); and roofing contractors (118 investigations).  

 

The leading causes of death across these industries were falls (35.2%), vehicles (15.3%) and electrocutions (11.7%).  Details of those deaths are presented in the table below.






Landscaping Services

Of the 44 workers in landscaping services who died from a fall, 27 fell from a tree (61.3% of workers who died from falls and 16.9% of all workers who died in landscaping services).  In two of these cases, the workers were killed when they fell either with the tree or with the limb on which they were working.  Eleven workers (25% of workers who died from falls and 6.9% of all workers who died in landscaping services)) fell from equipment used while doing tree work.  Nine (9) workers appear to have fallen from vehicle mounted lifts and two (2) were in or on cranes.  An additional 30 workers were killed when a tree or part of a tree fell on them, and 13 workers were electrocuted while working in trees.   Of these 13 fatalities due to electrocution while working in trees, 3 occurred in workers while working in palm trees at the time of their deaths.  Indeed, palm trees are the only tree type mentioned repeatedly and are associated with 6 deaths in this industry.   They are associated with 3 electrocutions, two (2) falls, and one (1) death associated with crushing. 

Note:  Three workers in landscaping services died from drowning.  These might have been prevented if the victims had been wearing life-jackets or some other safety device.


Highway, Street, and Bridge Construction

There were 129 deaths in highway, street and bridge construction from FY2011 to FY2012.  Fifty-six (56) of these, (43%) were due to workers being struck by vehicles.  In 39 cases (69.6%), the victim was struck by a vehicle on the road that was not associated with the worksite.  In 16 cases (28.6%), workers were killed after being struck by work vehicles.  The next leading cause of death in this industry was due to crushing.  However, the objects that crushed the workers are varied; so, it is hard to draw any inferences.


Roofing Contractors

The overwhelming majority (73.7%) of roofing contractors who were killed on the job died after a fall.  Most fell off a roof.  However, a significant minority died after falling off a ladder or scaffold (13 of 87 or 14.9%) or falling through a skylight (11 of 87 or 12.6%).  Electrocution was responsible for 14% of all deaths in this industry.

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