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Work Related Fatalities Decrease in 2003 to 36

Work-related injuries cost 36 lives in Connecticut in 2003, according to a report compiled by the Connecticut Department of   Labor’s Division of Occupational Safety and Health, reflecting a decrease of three from the previous year.


“As with national work-injury fatalities, transportation accidents and violence claimed the most lives,” explained State Labor Commissioner Shaun B. Cashman.  “In Connecticut, 17 transportation incidents represented 47 percent of the fatalities in 2003.  Assaults and violent acts accounted for 25 percent, which was an additional loss of nine lives.”  Cashman also stated that work injuries involving contact with objects or equipment caused four fatalities (11%) and workplace falls also claimed four lives.


The Connecticut Department of Labor collects data annually on workplace fatalities.  This data is included in the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics’ census with a goal of identifying and solving safety issues.  Work-related fatal illnesses often occur years after an exposure has occurred and are difficult to link to specific work conditions.  Thus, they are not reported in the census.  Detailed information on Connecticut work-injury fatalities is available in the following tables; data for 2003 include:

  • Men accounted for 34 of the work-injury fatalities.

  • By age, employees in the 35 to 44 year-old category represented the largest number of deaths with ten work-injury fatalities (28%).

  • Fourteen of the work-injury fatalities occurred to transportation and material mover workers.  These 14 deaths accounted for 39% of work-injury fatalities, the highest loss by occupation.

  • By industry sector, the trade, transportation, and utilities sector, with ten fatalities, suffered the most work-injury fatalities.  It was followed by the construction sector with six fatalities and the government sector with five fatalities.

Connecticut began recording work-related deaths in 1992.  Since then, the greatest loss was experienced in 1998 with 57 deaths, followed by 55 deaths in 2000.  The year 2001 saw 41 fatalities, which was followed by 39 fatalities in 2002 and lowered to 36 deaths in 2003.           

Nationally, 5,559 people lost their lives to work-injuries in 2003.  Transportation accidents, at 42%, claimed the most lives, which were followed by assaults and violent acts at 16%.  The construction sector recorded the highest number of fatal work injuries at 1,126; 24% of these deaths were to construction laborers.  However, the most dangerous industries were found in the agriculture, forestry, fishing, and hunting sector with a rate of 31.2 deaths per Published by the Connecticut Department of Labor, Project Management Office0,000 workers and mining sector with a rate of 26.9 deaths per Published by the Connecticut Department of Labor, Project Management Office0,000 workers.  Industry sectors were classified with the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS).  


American work-injury fatalities reached an annual high of 8,801 in 2001; the events of September 11th accounted for 2,886 of these deaths.  In order to accurately compare work-injury fatalities, and thereby identify unsafe working conditions, the deaths from September 11th have not been included in annual comparisons.


For the past two years, the United States maintained the lowest recorded work-injury fatality rate: 4.0 deaths per Published by the Connecticut Department of Labor, Project Management Office0,000 workers.  Along with a reduction in the fatality rate, the 2003 total of 5,559 work-injury fatalities reflected a decrease of 1,073 from the 1994 high of 6,632.  Despite the reduction of work-injury deaths, John Henshaw, the Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health, found the data sobering, stating "We have said many times before that even one workplace fatality is one too many, and we will continue to do everything we can to make sure workers are safe through strong, fair and effective enforcement; outreach, education and compliance assistance; and partnerships and cooperative programs." 


Detailed information on the national figures can be found at



Safety and Health Statistics

Last Updated: April 17, 2018

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