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The number of “contractors” fatally injured on the job in the U.S. rose to 715 in 2012 from 542 in 2011, according to revised numbers released this month from U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ 2012 Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries. Contractors represented 15.5 percent of all fatal occupational injuries in 2012, up from approximately 11.6 percent in 2011, the first year the census measured whether a worker was a contractor.
A contractor is defined as a worker employed by one firm but working at the behest of another firm that exercises responsibility for operations at the where the worker was fatally injured.
The BLS survey found 701 workers who suffered fatal work injuries were male in 2012 and 14 were female.
Texas posted the most fatal injuries of contractors in 2012 with 119, up from 56 in 2011. California followed with 54 occupational injuries involving contractors in 2012, up from 42 in 2011. Florida was third with 50 in 2012, down from 51 in 2011.
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Overall, there were 4,628 fatal work injuries in 2012 among all types of workers (not just contractors), according to the BLS. That was the second-lowest annual total since the fatal injury census was first conducted in 1992.