More Americans died on the job last year, and work injuries involving transportation remained the most common fatal event, accounting for 40 percent of occupational deaths.
All told, fatal injuries among transportation and material-moving occupations increased by 7 percent to 1,388, the highest number of deaths in the industry since 2007 and making up more than a quarter of all work-related fatalities, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported.
There were 5,190 fatal work injuries in the U.S. in 2016, a year that marked the third straight increase in annual fatalities and the first time the number has topped 5,000 since 2008.
In a statement, the National Safety Council called the latest statistics disheartening and urged employers not to ignore the data.
"Workplace injuries and fatalities should never be considered a cost of doing business. Every worker deserves a safe work environment and to return home safely at the end of each workday," said the NSC, which urged companies to make use of the nonprofit organization's resources, which include information on safe driving and drug use.
The U.S. Department of Transportation in November said that starting in January, transportation workers will have opioids added to the list of substances they are tested for.