Last month, the Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics released information regarding employee deaths in the previous fiscal year. 4609 employees died on the job in the U.S. in 2011, down slightly from the 4690 total in 2010. These numbers are significantly reduced from employee death rates in the early 2000s.
Traffic accidents remain the leading cause of workplace deaths, with an increase in the number of fatalities in truck transportation. Construction industry fatalities were down in 2011, but BLS attributed this to continuing weakness in this sector rather than an indication of improved safety practices. Mining, agriculture, forestry and fishing were named as the most dangerous professions. Only eight percent of workplace deaths involved women, with traffic accidents and homicides as the leading causes.