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May 4, 2015

Deadliest States to Work Identified: N. Dakota Tops List, Again

In 2013, 4,585 workers were killed on the job in the United States and an estimated 50,000 died from occupational diseases. This equates to a loss of 150 workers each day from hazardous working conditions, according to the 2015 AFL-CIO Death on the Job Report released last week.

Based on Bureau of Labor Statistics data, North Dakota remains the #1 state for work-related deaths. For the third year in a row, it had the highest job fatality rate in the nation - more than four times the national average - although it's rate dropped by nearly 3 deaths per 100,000 workers in 2013. New Mexico and West Virginia saw the largest increases in fatality rates in the same time period.

5 states with highest worker fatality rates:

North Dakota 14.9; Wyoming 9.5; West Virginia 8.6; Alaska 7.9; New Mexico 6.7; US average 3.3

Although still among the top five states, North Dakota, Wyoming and Alaska achieved lower fatality rates in 2013 than in 2012. 

New Mexico and West Virgina topped the list of states with the highest fatality rate increases vs. last year, even as the overall U.S. rate fell.

safety is not an accident. 365 days without an accident5 states with largest fatality rate increase from 2012-13:

  1. New Mexico: +1.9 to 6.7
  2. West Virginia: +1.7 to 8.6
  3. Idaho: +1.6 to 4.3
  4. Arizona: +1.2 to 3.5
  5. Missouri: +1.0 to 4.3
  6. U.S. Average: -0.1 to 3.3

The fatality rate among Latino workers increased slightly in 2013 to 3.9 per 100,000 workers, which is 18 percent greater than the overall rate. There was a sharp increase in Latino deaths among landscaping workers. Specifically, deaths related to tree trimming and pruning doubled among Latino workers since 2012. The number and rate of fatalities for all other races declined or stayed the same from the previous year.

Among all workers (private, government and self-employed), the transportation and warehousing industry had the most fatalaties at 733 (16 percent of the total). Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting ranked second with 500 deaths (11 percent of the total). However, this sector had the highest fatality rate based on hours worked, with a 23.2 fatality rate. Transportation and warehousing is a distant second place at 14.0. The injury rate for public sector workers was 58 percent higher than private sector workers.

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