New York City

On-the-Job Deaths in NYC Soar 55 Percent Year Over Year, Hit 8-Year High, Federal Data Show

More than a third of the deadly incidents were related to falls, slips, and trips

What to Know

  • There were 87 work-related deaths in NYC in 2017, a 55 percent spike from the year before and an eight-year high
  • Most of the incidents were related to falls, slips, and trips and most of the victims were wage and salary workers
  • Overall, men accounted for 89 percent of the work-related fatalities in NYC, compared with 93 percent nationwide

On-the-job deaths in New York City are up 55 percent year over year and saw a higher number in 2017 than in the previous eight years, according to U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics released Thursday. 

The 87 total fatal work injuries reported in 2017 mark a spike from the all-time low 56 in 2016. The last time there were more reported deadly injuries on the job in the city was in 2008, when 90 such cases were reported, the data showed.

Two categories accounted for 63 percent of the total deadly cases in 2017. More than a third of the incidents (31) were related to falls, slips, and trips, up by 18 over the prior year. Violence and other injuries by persons or animals was the other major category accounting for the deaths -- 24 (27.5 percent) in 2017. 

By job type, construction and extraction occupations accounted for a quarter of on-the-job deaths in the city in 2017. That same year, the City Council approved a bill to better track who gets hurt or killed in a fall, but another bill, one that would have required construction workers to get safety training and take apprenticeship courses, met backlash from some developers and worker advocates. Nationwide, meanwhile, the lion's share of on-the-job deaths were transportation incidents, the federal data released Thursday show.

Overall, 89 percent of the work-related fatalities in the city were men, compared with 93 percent nationwide. Workers 55 and older accounted for 45 percent of the city's work-related deaths, higher than the 37 percent nationwide average. A large majority of the deaths in 2017 were wage or salary workers, and falls, slips or trips was the most frequent cause of death. Of the 87 total work-related deaths in 2017, just 14 were self-employed workers -- and most of those cases involved violence and other injuries by people or animals. 

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