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Connecticut’s Worker Deaths Total 38 in 2007; Number Below State’s Annual Average

For Immediate Release
September 16, 2008
 

WETHERSFIELD – Work injuries were the cause of 38 deaths in this state during 2007, the Connecticut Department of Labor’s Division of Occupational Safety and Health (CONN-OSHA) reported today.

According to State Labor Commissioner Patricia H. Mayfield, this figure – which remains unchanged from the number of work-related deaths reported for 2006 – is below the state’s annual average of 41 deaths.

“While we are pleased that the number of work injury deaths has not increased, even one workplace fatality is one too many,” Mayfield said. “With the report’s data, our agency will continue to work closely with companies in order to educate employers and employees alike to recognize and address workplace hazards.”

In 2007, work injuries in America cost 5,488 lives nationwide. This translates into a rate of 3.7 deaths per 100,000 workers. Since much of Connecticut’s employment is in low-risk industries, the state has consistently been able to maintain a fatality rate below the national average. For 2007, Connecticut had a fatal work injury rate of 2.1 per 100,000 workers.

Specific data on Connecticut work-injury fatalities for 2007, which includes comparisons to national statistics, are outlined in the attached tables. The study includes the following details:

  • Falls resulted in 10 deaths in 2007 and accounted for the largest percentage of workers – about 26% – who lost their lives on the job. This includes falls from roofs, ladders and scaffolding.

  • Assaults and violent acts accounted for the lives of nine workers, three of which were suicides.

  • In Connecticut, men accounted for 37 (97%) of the work-injury fatalities in 2007. Nationally, men accounted for 5,071 or 92% of the fatalities.

  • Wage and salary workers accounted for 74% of the fatalities. The remaining 26% were self-employed.

  • A total of nine (24%) of the fatalities were in transportation and material moving occupations. This category includes tractor-trailer drivers, delivery drivers, and driving sales workers.

  • Approximately 40% of the fatalities involved workers between 45 and 54 years of age. The next highest percentage of deaths, at 24%, was reported among the workforce in the 25 to 34 year age range.

  • The greatest recorded losses were experienced in 1998 with 57 fatalities, followed by 55 in 2000 and 54 in 2004. The lowest recorded loss occurred in 1993 with 31 deaths.

Since 1992, data on work fatalities is collected through the federal Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries and Illnesses (CFOI) program. Information is collected through media coverage, police reports, death certificates and employers.

All employers, regardless of their industry or company size, are required to report all work fatalities to federal OSHA within eight hours of a workplace death, by either calling 1-800-321-OSHA or visiting a local OSHA office. Although employers are not required to report fatal transportation accidents outside of construction zones or public transportation accidents, they are encouraged to report these fatalities as well.

“There is a common misconception that certain deaths, such as heart attacks or suicides, do not need to be reported to OSHA,” explains Erin Wilkins, CONN-OSHA Research Analyst who assisted in compiling the report. “Any death occurring in the workplace, or while an employee is ‘on duty,’ must be reported to OSHA.” 

To help companies operate their businesses as safely as possible, the Connecticut Department of Labor offers a no-cost consultation service with the goal of identifying existing or potential safety and health factors. For information on this service, call CONN-OSHA at (860) 263-6900, or complete the online request form. Search for “CONN-OSHA consulting services” on Google or Yahoo! and visit the first result. 

Please note that the following 2007 Connecticut and U.S. Fatal Occupational Injuries tables are included with this release:

Safety and Health Statistics

Last Updated: July 07, 2015


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