WASHINGTON, Sept. 21 (UPI) -- The number of work-related fatalities in the United States fell in 2011 from 2010, the Labor Department said.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics said 4,609 workers died from "occupational injuries" in 2011, a decrease from 4,690 workplace deaths in 2010. The number is considered a preliminary total, the bureau said.
Using current data, the rate of fatalities at work was 3.5 per 100,000 full-time workers, an improvement over the 2010 rate of 3.6 per 100,000.
In a report released Thursday, the bureau said fatalities in private construction declined from 774 in 2010 to 721 in 2011.
Construction worker deaths have dropped nearly 42 percent since 2006, the bureau said.
Fatalities were down 10 percent year-to-year in the mining industry.
The most dangerous job in terms of the number of deaths is driving, with private truck transportation work fatalities up 14 percent year-to-year, the second consecutive year of increases. Overall, two out of every five fatalities at work involved transportation incidents, with 1,898 incidents reported -- 1,075 of them traffic accidents -- the bureau said.
In addition, 780 workers died at work due to violence -- including suicide, which accounted for 242 worker deaths in 2011.
Among the violent deaths, most involved shootings, although 37 involved animal- or insect-related injuries.
Falls, slips or trips accounted for 666 worker deaths in 2011.
The report uses a new incident reporting system that includes data on the height of falls that resulted in worker deaths. One fourth of the falls were from less than 10 feet high, while another quarter were from heights of over 30 feet, the bureau said.
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