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Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Edwin G. Foulke Jr. issued the statement below about the Bureau of Labor Statistics' (BLS) Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries in 2006 http://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/cfoi.pdf, which was released on August 9. The fatality rate declined to its lowest level since BLS began collecting data in 1992. The rate last year was 3.9 fatalities per 100,000 employees, down from 4.0 in 2005.
The number of fatal work injuries among employees younger than 25 years of age decreased 9 percent, from 568 in 2005 to 516 in 2006. In addition, the fatality rate among Hispanic employees declined slightly, from 4.9 fatalities per 100,000 employees in 2005 to 4.7 fatalities per 100,000 in 2006.
"We are pleased to see both the rate and number of fatal work injuries continue to decline. More working men and women are returning to their loved ones at the end of the work day," said Foulke. "While these figures demonstrate progress, we still have a long way to go.
"We believe our initiatives are working. However, even one fatality is one too many. To end fatalities, injuries and illnesses on the job, nothing is more effective than prevention. We remain committed to helping all employers protect their most valuable resource – their employees."