The largest number of fatal work injuries in 2003 was in the construction sector, according to the Census of Fatal Occupation Injuries conducted by the Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics. The 1,126 fatal work injuries in private construction accounted for more than one out of every five fatalities last year. Yet that number is down slightly from the 1,149 construction deaths reported in 2002.

Specialty trade contractors account for 626 of those deaths in 2003; plumbing, heating and air-conditioning contractors account for 68 fatal injuries. Of those 68 deaths, 18 were in the residential sector and 21 in the nonresidential sector.

2003 Plumbing and HVAC Industry Deaths By Event Or Exposure

    Transportation incidents - 18
    Assaults and violent attacks - 4
    Contact with objects and equipment - 13
    Falls - 15
    Exposure to harmful substances or environments - 15
    Fires and explosions -3
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Plumbing & Mechanical