The number of contractors and Hispanic workers who died on the job increased in 2013 even as the overall tally of worker deaths declined, according to preliminary data released Thursday by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
In all, 4,405 workers died from injuries sustained on the job last year — 223 fewer than the BLS reported in 2012. That equates to a rate of roughly 3.2 deaths for every 100,000 full-time equivalent workers, down slightly from 2012.
The new tranche of data came on the same day that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration released a final revised rule requiring employers to notify OSHA within eight hours if an employee dies and within 24 hours when an employee is hospitalized, suffers an amputation or loses an eye. Previously, employers were only required to report deaths and the hospitalization of three or more employees.
“Forty-four hundred five on-the-job deaths is 4,405 too many,” David Michaels, assistant secretary of labor for occupational safety and health, said on a conference call with reporters. “We can and must do better.”