US Chemical Industry Fatalities Down

2008 data published by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics shows a decline in the number of work related fatalities in the chemical industry. A total of 18 employees died from work-related causes in 2008.

Numbers in the chemical industry are improving. The number of fatalities was 33 in 2006 and 24 in 2007 and show that the chemical industry is achieving some success in recognising and addressing hazards.

It is worth noting, however, that in manufacturing, the number of fatalities increased from 400 to 404, despite the reduced levels of activity due to recession. The 404 number included the 14 people killed at Imperial Sugar as noted in my previous blog post.

Across the United States, there were 5071 fatalities in 2008, down from 5657 in 2007. The worst industry sectors were construction (969), transportation and warehousing (762) and agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting (651)

Despite the improving figures in the chemicals sector, there is absolutely no room for complacency. As this blog has reported several times, far too many easily avoidable incidents are still happening. Even 18 fatalities represents 18 people who went to work and didn't return home to their families. That is 18 too many.

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