Work-related deaths decline in Colorado from 2012 to 2013 |

Work-related deaths decline in Colorado from 2012 to 2013

Those road signs telling drivers to slow down around construction sites take on a different meaning when faced with the number of people who die on the job in Colorado, many from transportation-related accidents.

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment released preliminary data on Thursday, Oct. 9, from the 2013 Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries. According to the figures, Colorado lost 65 people in work-related deaths in 2013, which is 17 fewer than occurred in 2012.

Though the number of deaths declined, some alarming trends remained the same. Here’s a breakdown of the fatalities by cause, demographics, industry and occupation.

By cause of death:

Transportation-related deaths continued to be the leading cause of work-related deaths in Colorado, with 28 deaths accounting for 43 percent of the state’s 65 occupational fatalities during 2013. Of those 28 deaths, 18 were roadway incidents involving motorized land vehicles, three were non-roadway incidents involving motorized land vehicles and three were pedestrian-vehicular incidents.

There were 11 deaths from violence in 2013. Of these, five were self-inflicted, intentional injuries.

There were nine deaths caused by falls, slips and trips.

There were nine deaths caused by exposure to harmful substances or environments.

By worker characteristics:

Men accounted for 91 percent of the 65 worker deaths in 2013.

White, non-Hispanic workers made up 47 deaths, and 14 were among Hispanic workers.

Workers in the 45- to 54-year-old age group had the highest number of fatalities, with 19 deaths in 2013, followed by workers in the 25- to 34-year-old age group with 14 deaths.

By industry:

Overall, 60 fatalities occurred among private industry workers and five occurred among government workers. The top three private industries were:

Construction: 16 deaths.

Trade, transportation and utilities: 15 deaths.

Natural resources and mining: eight deaths.

By occupation (top three):

Transportation and material-moving occupations had 23 deaths. Of these, 13 were among heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers.

Construction and extraction occupations had 13 deaths. Of these, eight were among construction-trades workers and three were among first-line supervisors.

Installation, maintenance and repair service occupations had six deaths.

The Colorado Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries is a cooperative effort of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment and the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics. Work-related fatalities are identified through review of death certificates, coroners’ reports, workers’ compensation claims, reports of the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration and other sources as available.

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