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Oregon’s fatal workplace injuries rise slightly

Oregon fatal work injuries BLS

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics just out with 2018 data

SAN FRANCISCO (KTVZ) -- There were 62 fatal work injuries reported in Oregon in 2018, up slightly from the year before but lower than the 72 seen in 2016, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday.

Assistant Commissioner for Regional Operations Richard Holden noted that the number of work-related fatalities in Oregon was similar to the previous year. Fatal occupational injuries in the state have ranged from a high of 88 in 1992 to a low of 43 in 2012. 

In Oregon, transportation incidents resulted in 24 fatal work injuries and contact with objects and equipment accounted for 17 fatalities. These two major categories accounted for 66 percent of all workplace fatalities in the state. (See table 1.) Worker deaths from transportation incidents were down from 29 over the year and worker fatalities due to contact with objects and equipment were up from 13.

Violence and other injuries by persons or animals was the third-most frequent fatal work event with eight fatalities compared to six in the prior year. Falls, slips, or trips resulted in seven work-related deaths compared to six in 2017.

Nationally, transportation incidents were the most frequent fatal workplace event in 2018, accounting for 40 percent of fatal work injuries. (See chart 2.) Violence and other injuries by persons or animals was the second-most common fatal event (16 percent), followed by falls, slips, and trips (15 percent) and contact with objects and equipment (15 percent).


The private agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting industry had the highest number of fatalities in Oregon with 12, down from 16 in the previous year. (See table 2.) Contact with objects and equipment resulted in 7 of the 12 fatalities in the industry. The logging sector accounted for 9 of the 12 workplace fatalities in the industry.

The private construction industry had 10 workplace fatalities compared to 8 in the previous year. Specialty trade contractors accounted for six, or 60 percent, of the fatal injuries in this industry.


The transportation and material moving occupational group had the highest number of workplace fatalities with 19. (See table 3.) Heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers accounted for 9 of the 19 fatalities among transportation and material moving workers. The construction and extraction occupational group had the second highest number of workplace fatalities with 11, followed by farming, fishing, and forestry occupations with 10. Construction laborers suffered 4  of the 11 work-related deaths within the construction and extraction group. Loggers accounted for 7 of the 10 farming, fishing, and forestry occupational fatalities.

Additional highlights:

  • Men accounted for 95 percent of the work-related fatalities in Oregon, compared to the 92-percent national share. (See table 4.) Transportation incidents made up 39 percent of the fatalities for men in Oregon.
  • White non-Hispanics accounted for 79 percent of those who died from a workplace injury. Nationwide, this group accounted for 65 percent of work-related deaths.
  • Workers 25-54 years old accounted for 58 percent of the state’s work-related fatalities in 2018, matching the national average.
  • Of the 62 fatal work injuries in Oregon, 84 percent worked for wages and salaries; the remainder were self-employed. The most frequent fatal event for wage and salary workers was transportation incidents; contact with objects and equipment was the most frequent fatal event for self-employed workers.

Technical Note

Background of the program. The Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI), part of the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Occupational Safety and Health Statistics (OSHS) program, is a count of all fatal work injuries occurring in the U.S. during the calendar year. The CFOI uses a variety of state, federal, and independent data sources to identify, verify, and describe fatal work injuries. This ensures counts are as complete and accurate as possible. For the 2018 national data, over 24,800 unique source documents were reviewed as part of the data collection process. For technical information and definitions for the CFOI, see the BLS Handbook of Methods on the BLS website at

Federal/State agency coverage. The CFOI includes data for all fatal work injuries, even those that may be outside the scope of other agencies or regulatory coverage. Thus, any comparison between the BLS fatality census counts and those released by other agencies should take into account the different coverage requirements and definitions being used by each agency. More on the scope of CFOI can be found at

Acknowledgments. BLS appreciates the efforts of all federal, state, local, and private sector entities that provided source documents used to identify fatal work injuries. Among these agencies are the Occupational Safety and Health Administration; the National Transportation Safety Board; the U.S. Coast Guard; the Mine Safety and Health Administration; the Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs (Federal Employees' Compensation and Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation divisions); the Federal Railroad Administration; the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration; state vital statistics registrars, coroners, and medical examiners; state departments of health, labor, and industrial relations and workers' compensation agencies; state and local police departments; and state farm bureaus.

Information in this release will be made available to sensory impaired individuals upon request. Voice phone: (202) 691-5200. Federal Relay Service: (800) 877-8339.

Money / Oregon-Northwest

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  1. And there you have it- the horrific numbers repeated as I explained them to you a month ago-What the data here doesn’t show is that Oregon has higher fatality rates than their neighbors- the same neighbors who are seeing the same rates (if not more) of construction activity- in all sectors. Oregon falls well below the national average in “all things safety” in 17 of 20 work sectors- so it’s not just agriculture- logging- fishing etcetera- it includes manufacturing- construction- transport and distribution !

    Take a good look at these numbers- the headline screams- “slight increase”- but the fatalities among waged and salaried workers shows almost a 62% increase since 2015- a mere three years ago !

    So what exactly is feeding this carnage- seems Michael Wood- our Oregon OSHA representative- either doesn’t know- or doesn’t want to talk about it… so I will !

    These fatalities are being triggered by old and outdated attitudes about work site safety- and Oregon in particular is lagging behind the rest of the nation understanding safety management systems. Instead Oregon leans towards the so-called experts- a handful of Portland/Hillsboro based consulting companies that are flooding the work sites with their fake safety teams. This is total BS I believe ! I have witnessed first hand the low quality individuals being sent out to major work sites right here in Central Oregon. Theses consultants show up with their cheap bells and whistles and initiate immediate fear into the workforce through threats- false accusations- and exceptionally poor understandings of SOP’s and Osha standards- they should be run out of our region on a rail.

    Again- total BS I believe !

  2. To continue- work sites in Oregon still suffer from the “OK Boomer” effect- gray hairs at the top who have the same attitudes towards their projects that they have since 1984- the year the Blazers chose Sam Bowie over Michael Jordan !

    Yeh Boomer- how’d that work out for ya !

    We see the same construction supervisors- some guy named Kris works his crews into fatigue- (fatigue accounts for 13% of all work site injuries)- won’t listen to science- data- statistics… would rather discuss the big fishing trip him and his boys will take next weekend ! Oregon has thousands of these guys- who maintain their resistance to change- at the expense of the safety of the work crews… don’t believe me ? Ask to see the safety stats from our local data center projects- near the bottom nationally. These sites lack a cohesive objective- no team-work- competition for seasonal jobs have workers pitted against each other- a hostile work environment in need of a complete over-haul… Maybe the “Fortress” safety lady can sit down with the Z and explain how it’s all gone wrong !

    Better yet- maybe Michael Wood can step up and provide some transparency into an OSHA organization failing it’s community- the numbers don’t lie !

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