Workplace fatalities increaseFatal work injuries rose statewide in 2010 and rose slightly locally in 2011, officials said.
Fatal work injuries rose statewide in 2010 and rose slightly locally in 2011, officials said.
Thirty people died of injuries sustained at their jobs in North Dakota in 2010 compared to 25 in 2009, according to a recent press release from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
However, BLS would not release county-wide statistics.
“There aren’t very many cases in total anyway and because of our confidentiality and publication rules, we just wouldn’t be able to publish any of the data if we tried to split it down to county level,” spokesperson Cassandra Wirth said.
Increased traffic due to oil activity has Coca-Cola Bottling Co. in Dickinson focusing on safety, said T.J. Herauf, president and general manager.
“Safety is something that can never be overlooked,” Herauf said. “We emphasize it more with the traffic situations.”
He added the Dickinson office has never had a fatality and the last accident they had was in 2009.
There was one fatality claim filed each in Stark, Dunn and Bowman counties in 2010, said Mark Armstrong of North Dakota Workforce Safety and Insurance. In 2011, there were three fatality claims in Dunn County and one in McKenzie County, Armstrong said.
“The Bureau of Labor has a different number of killed on the job than we have that we pay claims on because they don’t all go through here,” Armstrong said.
Federal, agricultural and railroad workers are not covered under WSI, so are not included in their statistics he added.
Statewide, WSI had 13 death claims in 2011, compared to nine in 2010, Armstrong said.
Herauf expected fatalities to be on the rise.
“It’s not surprising,” he added.
Armstrong said the increase is proportionate with the increase of workers.
“In other words, you know we are seeing more workers out there, obviously from driving truck to working on the rigs and all those things, but the number of injuries and death claims are not proportionally higher based on what you would expect in those industries,” he said.
According to BLS’s release, fatal occupational injuries statewide have ranged from 35 in 1997 to 20 in 1992.
Other BLS statistics include:
r Men accounted for all 30 work-related fatalities in the state. Transportation incidents, which include highway, non-highway, pedestrian, air, water and rail, made up half of the fatalities.
r 83 percent of those who died from a workplace injury in the state were white non- Hispanics. Nationwide, this group accounted for 72 percent of work-related deaths.
r Workers 25 to 54 years old accounted for 12, or 40 percent, of the State’s work-related fatalities in 2010. Nationally, workers in this group accounted for 60 percent of fatalities.
r Of the 30 occupational fatalities in North Dakota, 63 percent worked for wages and salaries. The remaining were self-employed. The leading cause of death for both groups was transportation incidents.
r The agriculture, forestry, fishing, and hunting sector had the largest number of fatalities, 10, followed by transportation and warehousing with six. Transportation incidents accounted for five of the worker deaths in agriculture, forestry, fishing, and hunting and four in transportation and warehousing.
r Management occupations, along with transportation and material moving occupations, had the highest number of workplace fatalities with seven each. Within management occupations, fatalities were primarily among farmers or ranch operators (six). In transportation and material moving occupations, most of the deaths were among heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers (five).