Not what we were hoping for. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ National Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries, 2010 saw a 47% rise in worker deaths associated with fire and explosion.
According to the report, work-related fatalities resulting from fires and explosions increased from 113 in 2009 to 187 in 2010 — the highest count since 2003. The woodworkingnetwork.com observed that these fire and explosion deaths stand out from the rest of the report which indicated that overall job-related deaths held steady from 2009 to 2010. In fact, four fewer workers died on the job in 2010 than in 2009, 4,547 compared to 4,551 respectively.
As we know, reducing combustible dust related fire and explosion hazards has been a key priority for OSHA, and while the manufacturing industry has been infiltrated with preventative resources, these new numbers demonstrate there’s more work to be done to raise awareness that these risks are REAL.