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Work-related deaths rise in Minnesota

In a recent blog post, we wrote about how work-related illness and deaths had declined across the United States in 2015. That good news for national workers has not extended to Minnesota. 

Newly released data shows there were more work-related deaths in Minnesota in 2015 than any year since 2006.

A Star Tribune story has the data regarding work injuries and deaths. In total, 74 people died in work accidents in 2015. A deeper look at the numbers shows these facts:

  • 60 of the 74 people who died were men.
  • The death of 14 women was the highest amount since the government started tracking work-related deaths.
  • Even with the rise in the total number of deaths, the death rate per 100,000 workers was only 2.7%, which is below the national average of 3.4%.
  • The natural resources, agriculture and mining industries saw the highest number of deaths wit 24.
  • Transportation incidents accounted for 39% of the deaths.

While the rise in deaths is unfortunate, these numbers aren't all bad. Minnesota remains a relatively safe state for workers, as the rate of injuries that result in death is below the national average.

The numbers also show that farming was the most dangerous industry, but this is an industry that has become safer over time. Most of the deaths in this industry were individuals over 55 years of age, and many were self-employed. These are risk factors, as older individuals are more likely to be in an accident, and self-employed individuals may not have the same safety measures in place as someone working for a business.

If you're interested in seeing the full data, it's available on the Minnesota Department of Labor website.

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