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Study: Restaurant worker fatalities down in '07

WASHINGTON The number of foodservice workers who were killed on the job during 2007 declined 14 percent to 125, with 21 fewer deaths from the prior year’s tally, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported.

In releasing its annual Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries Summary, the BLS reported that assaults and violent acts remained the most common cause of deaths on the job for restaurant workers, taking the lives of 95 employees in 2007, compared with 105 in 2006.

Across all businesses, 610 people were murdered at their place of employment, a 13-percent increase over last year.

The second leading cause of job-site foodservice deaths in 2007 were transportation accidents, which claimed the lives of 16 workers, compared with 20 in 2006.

Eight restaurant workers died in falls and four died from "exposure to harmful substances or environments" in 2007, according to the BLS. In 2006, 10 fatal falls were reported and eight employees died from exposure or environmental factors.

Overall, 5,488 Americans died on the job last year, the lowest number in 40 years, the government reported, with construction, transportation and manufacturing industries accounting for the highest number of fatalities.

BLS analysts speculated that the decline in all on-the-job deaths is the result of a lower employment.

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