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Work-Related Fatalities Decline in 2005

For immediate release
October 30, 2006

A total of 5,702 workers – 46 from Connecticut -- lost their lives to work injuries in this country last year. The Connecticut Department of Labor’s Division of Occupational Safety and Health (CONN-OSHA) reports that this is a 15 percent decline from Connecticut’s 2004 total of 54 work-injury deaths. 

“The loss of even one life to a work accident is one loss too many -- and we have lost over 200 workers in the past five years,” states State Labor Commissioner Patricia H. Mayfield. “Last year, 46 people left their homes for a normal workday that suddenly became tragic, preventing them from ever returning home to their families.”

“However, Connecticut does maintain a fatality rate below the national rate, largely due to low employment in high-risk occupations,” explains Mayfield. 

In 2005, Connecticut had a fatality rate of 2.7 for every Published by the Connecticut Department of Labor, Project Management Office0,000 workers while the U.S. rate was 4.0 per Published by the Connecticut Department of Labor, Project Management Office0,000 workers. The ten most dangerous occupations in the nation – which include fishers, loggers, pilots, and steel workers - accounted for 38 percent of work injury fatalities. This is clearly disproportionate to the groups’ five percent share of U.S. employment.

Transportation accidents are the leading cause of work-related fatalities. In 2005, they killed 12 workers in Connecticut, followed by contact with objects and equipment (Published by the Connecticut Department of Labor, Project Management Office) and homicides (9).  Each year, an average of seven workers in Connecticut are killed in falls, with the highest recorded number of fatal falls occurring in 2004 with 16 deaths.

“Thankfully, fatal falls declined in 2005, but remained slightly above the annual average with eight deaths,” notes Mayfield.

Work-related fatal illnesses often occur years after an exposure has occurred and are difficult to link to specific work conditions, according to Erin Wilkins, who compiled the report.  Thus, they are not reported in the census.  Detailed information on Connecticut work-injury fatalities is available in the tables below.

Data for 2005 include:

  • Transportation accidents claimed 12 lives (26 percent) in 2005. This is down from 2004’s total of 17 transportation deaths;

  • Work injuries involving contact with objects or equipment claimed Published by the Connecticut Department of Labor, Project Management Office lives (22 percent) in 2005. This category includes events such as trench cave-ins, caught in running machinery, struck by falling objects, etc.; 

  • The construction industry experienced the greatest loss with 13 work injury fatalities, followed by the retail trade industry with seven deaths;

  • Fourteen workers (30 percent) were self-employed;

  • Forty-one of the workers were male and five were female.

Connecticut began recording work-related deaths in conjunction with the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Census of Fatal Occupational Injury (CFOI) program in 1992. Since then, the state has averaged 41 work-related deaths per year. The greatest recorded loss was experienced in 1998 with 57 deaths, followed by 55 deaths in 2000 and 54 deaths in 2004. The lowest recorded loss occurred in 1993 with 31 deaths. 

National Data

A total of 5,702 fatal work injuries were recorded in the United States in 2005, a decrease of one percent from the 5,764 fatal work injuries reported for 2004. The rate at which fatal work injuries occurred in 2005 was 4.0 per Published by the Connecticut Department of Labor, Project Management Office0,000 workers, down slightly from a rate of 4.1 per Published by the Connecticut Department of Labor, Project Management Office0,000 workers in 2004.   

Fatal workplace injuries related to hurricanes accounted for 29 deaths, though this total may rise as additional cases are identified and verified. Fatal falls were lower by seven percent after reaching a series high of 822 in 2004. Fatal highway incidents rose by 2 percent in 2005, accounting for 1,428 worker deaths. The state of Texas had the highest number of work injury fatalities at 495; Rhode Island experienced the least number of work injury fatalities with 6 deaths. 

Detailed information on the national figures can be found at www.bls.gov/iif.

Fatal Occupational Injuries in Connecticut, 2005:

Media Contact: Nancy Steffens

Safety and Health Statistics

Last Updated: October 24, 2016


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