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Connecticut’s Worker Deaths Total 28 In 2008; Lowest Number Recorded

For Immediate Release
September 29, 2009

WETHERSFIELD - Work injuries were the cause of 28 deaths in this state during 2008, 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 is the lowest recorded since the program began in 1992.

“There was a 26 percent decrease in the number of work-related deaths in Connecticut from last year,” Mayfield said, “and certainly this is welcome news. However, even one workplace fatality is one too many and this agency will continue to strive to ensure that our state’s workplaces are safe and healthy.”

Nationwide data also showed a record low of work-related deaths. A total of 5,071 fatalities were recorded in 2008 with economic factors likely playing a role in the decrease. Average hours worked at the national level fell by one percent in 2008. Additionally, some industries with historically high numbers of fatalities, such as construction, experienced greater declines in employment.

Despite the record lows of total work-related fatalities, workplace suicides reached a national high of 251 deaths. In Connecticut, four suicides were reported, up one from the year before.

Specific data on Connecticut work-injury fatalities for 2008, which includes comparisons to national statistics, are outlined in the attached tables. The study includes the following details:

  • Nationally, transportation incidents continued to claim the most lives. In Connecticut, 32% of 2008’s work-related fatalities were transportation incidents.

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

  • Men accounted for 93% of work-related fatalities, both nationwide and in Connecticut.

  • Approximately 64% of the fatalities involved workers between the ages of 35 and 54.

  • In Connecticut, the greatest recorded losses were experienced in 1998 with 57 fatalities, followed by 55 in 2000 and 54 in 2004.

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.”

Wilkins noted that to help companies operate 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. Those seeking information on this service can call CONN-OSHA at (860) 263-6900 or complete an online request form at located at www.ctdol.state.ct.us/osha/consulti.htm. Another option is to search for “CONN-OSHA consulting services” on Google or Yahoo! and visit the first result. 

Please note that the following 2008 Connecticut and U.S. Fatal Occupational Injuries tables are included with this release:

Safety and Health Statistics

Media contact: Nancy Steffens  (860) 263-6535

Last Updated: October 24, 2016


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