2020 workplace fatalities up in Arkansas, down in U.S.

by Talk Business & Politics staff ([email protected]) 709 views 

There were 64 workplace fatalities and more than 25,000 non-fatal injuries and illnesses among Arkansas employers in 2020, according to U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics data posted Monday (Dec. 27). The 64 reported deaths was up from 62 in 2019.

The report, which was also supported by the Arkansas Department of Labor, noted that private employers in Arkansas reported 25,100 non-fatal injuries and illnesses in 2020, up from 19,100 in 2019. The estimates were obtained through the annual Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses.

Occupational injuries and illnesses include cases of COVID-19 when a worker was infected as a result of performing their work-related duties. COVID is considered a respiratory illness by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

The report noted that 4,764 workers died from a work-related injury in the United States in 2020, down 10.7% from the total of 5,333 deaths in 2019. A worker died every 111 minutes from a work-related injury in 2020.

ARKANSAS FATALITY NUMBERS
Data on fatalities show 41 wage and salary workers died in the workplace in 2020, down from 43 in 2019. Self-employed fatalities was 13, unchanged from 2019. Fatal injuries among government workers increased from 6 in 2019, to 10 in 2020. Work-related transportation fatality incidents totaled 36, up from 31 in 2019, and led all fatality events for the 27th year in a row.

Following are other details from the report.
• White (non-Hispanic) workers accounted for 44 (68.8%) of the fatalities. Black or African-American (non-Hispanic) workers accounted for 13 (20.3%) of the fatalities. Hispanic or Latino workers accounted for 7 (10.9%) of the fatalities.
• 11 workers (17.2%) died at work as a result of violence and other injuries by persons or animals in 2020, up from 4 in 2019. Ten (10) of these fatalities were intentional injury by person
• 7 workers (10.9%) were fatally injured due to contact with objects or equipment in 2020, down from 10 in 2019. This total includes 5 workers who died when struck by object or equipment, down from 7 in 2019.
• There were 3 worker deaths (4.7%) due to exposure to harmful substances or environments in 2020, down from 8 in 2019.

NON-FATAL REPORT
There was a decline in non-fatal injuries, with private industry employers reporting 15,200 in 2020, compared to 18,100 in 2019. Private industry employers had an incidence rate of 1.7 injury cases per 100 full-time equivalent (FTE) workers, compared to 2.0 in 2019.

There were 9,900 illness cases reported from private industry employers in 2020, up from 1,000 in 2019. The rate of illness cases increased from 11.3 cases per 10,000 FTE workers to 111.7 cases. The increase was driven by the rise in the number of respiratory illness cases, which rose from 100 cases in 2019 to 9,100 cases in 2020.

There were 13,030 non-fatal injuries and illnesses that caused a private industry worker to miss at least one day of work in 2020, compared to 4,490 cases in 2019. Of these cases, 8,520 (65.4%) were categorized as other diseases due to viruses not elsewhere classified, which includes reported COVID-related illnesses.

GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEE DATA
State government employers in Arkansas reported 1,000 non-fatal injury cases in 2020, compared to 1,600 in 2019. The incidence rate for injury cases in state government was 1.6 cases per 100 FTE workers in 2020, compared to 2.5 in 2019. There were 500 illness cases reported from state government employers in 2020, compared to 100 in 2019. The rate of illness cases increased from 22.9 cases per 10,000 FTE workers to 75.7 cases. Respiratory illness cases went from 100 cases in 2019 to 400 cases in 2020.

There were 770 non-fatal injury and illness cases that caused a state government employee to miss at least one day of work. Of these cases, 270 were categorized as other diseases due to viruses not elsewhere classified, which includes COVID-related illnesses.

Local government employers in Arkansas reported 3,400 non-fatal injury cases in 2020, compared to 3,700 in 2019. The incidence rate for injury cases in local government was 3.6 cases per 100 FTE workers in 2020, compared to 3.9 in 2019. There were 400 illness cases reported from local government employers in 2020, compared to 200 in 2019. The rate of illness cases increased from 17.1 cases per 10,000 FTE workers to 41 cases.

There were 1,040 non-fatal injury and illness cases that caused a local government employee to miss at least one day of work, compared to 800 in 2019. Of these cases, 240 were categorized as other diseases due to viruses not elsewhere classified, which includes reported COVID-related illnesses.