Thursday, August 17, 2006

Workplace Fatalities Down In '05 From '04? Maybe yes, Maybe No

This is interesting.

As I reported earlier this week, workplace fatality figures for 2005 were released last week, and much to OSHA's great pleasure, the numbers went down from from 5,764 deaths in 2004 to "only" 5,702 workplace deaths in 2005. A small decrease, but a decrease nevertheless. Right?

Well, maybe.

As I was reading over past issues of Confined Space (which I'm sure we all do in our leisure time), I came across last year's announcement of the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries survey: 5,703 fatalities in 2004-- only one more than the 2005 total announced last week. The extra 61 were added to the 2004 last April as the revised total, bringing the final 2004 number to 5,764.

So, Mr. Foulke, before we get too excited about the positive news, maybe we should wait to see what next April brings.