2016 Workplace Electrical Injuries and Fatalities: Statistics

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2016 Workplace Electrical Injuries and Fatalities: Statistics

ESFI Findings on Electrical Injury and Fatality Statistics

Last month, the Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI) detailed the 2016 numbers involving electrical injuries and fatalities. This organization uses the reports from The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI) to get these numbers.

Here are some points based on their information:

  • The number of electrical fatalities in 2016 represents a 15% increase from 2015.
  • In 2016, 53% of all fatal electrical injuries occurred in the Construction industry, down from 60% in 2015.
  • In 2016, there was one electrical fatality for every 34 fatalities from all causes.

Because May is National Electrical Safety Month, ESFI featured this report on their website . You can visit them here.

The BLS Report

The BLS Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries Summary, 2016, was released December 2017.

A total of 5,190 workers died from an occupational injury in 2016. That number increased by 7 percent from 2015 and is the highest count since 2008. This is the third consecutive increase in annual workplace fatalities and the first time more than 5,000 fatalities have been recorded by the CFOI since 2008.

Here is a PDF of the BLS News Release on Fatal Occupational Injuries.

This is the first year that CFOI has produced interactive charts to accompany the news release.

Other Interesting Facts from the BLS 2016 Statistics

  • Mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction and manufacturing both experienced large decreases in workplace fatalities in 2016, decreasing 26 percent and 10 percent, respectively.
  • The number of workplace fatalities in private industry increased 7 percent in 2016.

USA Today wrote an article on the most dangerous jobs in America.

  • The median salary for 64% of the top 25 most dangerous jobs in America is below $50,000/year.
  • The job of Electricians (those who install, maintain, and repair power, communications, lighting, and control systems in nearly every type of facility) made #22 on their list.
  • Telecommunications line installers and repairers are at #19. As expected, many of these incidents occur from heights. The number of electrocutions in this group are not specified in this article.  e-Hazard has written a blog on one such incident involving a telecommunications worker.
  • Electrical power-line installers and repairers made #15 on 2016’s list.
  • Most accidents in these three categories involved overexertion, bodily reaction, and slips/trips/falls.

Time also came out with an article that has an easy-to-read chart of the Most Dangerous Jobs in 2016.

  • In the Time article, the job of Electrical power-line installer and repairer made #9 on the Top Ten list.

Why Training is so Important

This is why e-Hazard does what it does!

e-Hazard electrical safety training stresses the importance of safety regulations and digs into the “whys” behind each rule because our instructors understand how important it is for workers to stay safe. We all may have seen and heard about the incidents involving misjudgments and situations that seem out of the ordinary. e-Hazard instructors understand how proper training is a critical component of work safety. Knowledge IS power when it is utilized appropriately and consistently. (Don’t forget to document the training!)

We report these statistics to you periodically on our blog so that you can see how the effort made by everyone to change the culture in the industry can make a positive difference. Even if it means just one more life is spared, that work is valuable.

Please visit our website to find out which electrical safety training classes that you need are closest to you.

If you’re not sure which class you or your workers need, we have a tool to make the decision easier. Answer a few questions on our website, and we’ll give you some recommendations.


Ken Sellars

Ken Sellars is an instructor of electrical safety, NEC, Grounding/Bonding and Arc Flash Safety courses nationwide. Read more about Ken.

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