Fewer Iowans Died from Workplace Injuries in 2006

October 22, 2007

Fewer Iowans died from workplace injuries in 2006, a year in which 23 percent of work-related deaths involved car crashes, the Department of Labor said Friday.

There were 71 fatal work-related injuries last year, a decrease of 19 from the year before, according to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The most frequent types of fatal workplace events in Iowa last year were highway crashes, which took 16 lives, the same number reported the previous year.

Eleven people died in non-highway transportation accidents, such as those that might occur on a farm or in a factory, a decline of seven deaths from the year before.

Eleven people died in falls, about 15 percent of the state’s total fatal work accidents.

Taken together, traffic accidents, farm and factory mishaps and falls accounted for more than half of the workplace fatalities in the state, said Jay A. Mousa, a regional labor commissioner.

Other work-related fatalities in Iowa in 2006 included five people struck by objects, four pedestrians struck by vehicles or mobile equipment, three people caught in or compressed by equipment or objects, three people caught in or crushed in collapsing materials and three electrocutions. Combined, these five event categories accounted for about 25 percent of the state’s fatal work injuries.

Men accounted for 97 percent of the work-related fatalities in Iowa with 69 deaths.

In Iowa, 97 percent of those who died from a workplace injury were white non-Hispanics.

The construction industry had the largest number of fatalities _ 18 _ with falls the most frequent cause of death in that sector. Next was agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting with 16 deaths.

Workers 25 to 54 years old accounted for 49 percent of the state’s work-related fatalities in 2006. Those 55 years or older made up 44 percent.

Nationally, those 25 to 54 years old accounted for 64 percent of on-the-job fatalities, and those 55 and older, 27 percent.

Of the 71 workers killed on the job in Iowa, just under two-thirds worked for wages and salaries and the other one-third were self-employed.

Nationwide, 5,703 people died from work injuries last year, which is down slightly from the 5,734 fatal work injuries recorded in 2005.

The count for 2006 was the third lowest annual total recorded by the fatality census, which has been conducted yearly since 1992.

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