August 15, 2007 The Pump Handle 0Comment

The Bureau of Labor Statistics has released its preliminary numbers on 2006 fatal occupational injuries, and Katherine Torres at Occupational Hazards reports on what they show. The rate of fatal work injuries declined slightly, from 4 per 100,000 in 2005 to 3.9 in 2006, but some industries showed increases:

• The 47 coal mining fatalities, many of them from major disasters such as Sago, is more than double the 22 fatalities from that industry in 2005.
• The 415 aircraft-related fatalities represented a 44% increase over last year’s total of 149.
• Construction was the industry sector with the most fatal injuries: 1,226, a 3% increase from 2005.

Highway incidents remained one of the most frequent types of fatal work-related events, but the 1,329 fatal highway incidents represented that sector’s lowest annual toll since 1993.

In a statement regarding the figures, Assistant Secretary of Labor Edwin Foulke said, “Even one fatality is one too many. To end fatalities, injuries and illnesses on the job, nothing is more effective than prevention.”

In other news:

New York Times: The Hometown Heroes Survivors Benefits Act allows relatives of emergency workers to collect benefits if the worker died of a heart attack or stroke within 24 hours of a “nonroutine” response to a call – but different interpretations of “nonroutine” are evident as many family members’ claims are denied.

Washington Post: Workers at the Department of Interior’s headquarters say building renovations have made them ill.

Houston Chronicle: BP is contesting the citations and fine that OSHA imposed for hazardous conditions at the company’s Texas City refinery. Citations were for hazardous conditions similar to those that led to the March 2005 explosion that killed 15 people.

Insurance Journal: In a West Dallas neighborhood that was home to a W.R. Grace vermiculite plant, more than 500 people have showed up for an asbestos screening program that only has funds to X-ray 300 people.

Press & Sun-Bulletin (New York): U.S. Representative Maurice Hinchey says he has secured funding to allow NIOSH to proceed with a major study of cancer rates among 28,000 employees from IBM’s Endicott, New York facility.

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