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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 4, 2010
Labor Dept. Releases Missouri’s Official 2009 Workplace Death Figures
Jefferson City, Mo- The Missouri Labor Department announced today that fatal workplace injuries in the state decreased slightly in 2009 from the previous year.
A preliminary total of 142 fatal work injuries were recorded in Missouri in 2009, down about four percent from the revised 148 fatal work injuries reported for 2008, according to the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI), conducted by the Missouri Department of Labor and Industrial Relations, Research and Analysis Section in cooperation with the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), U.S. Department of Labor. Nationally, a preliminary total of 4340 fatal work injuries were recorded in the U.S. in 2009, a decrease of 16 percent from the revised total of 5214 fatalities in 2008.
“We are pleased to see that our workplaces are becoming safer as fewer Missouri workers are taken from their family and friends. However, even one Missouri life is too many and we as a state can do better by implementing safety programs that save lives,” says Department Director Larry Rebman.
Transportation incidents, which include highway, non-highway, air, water, rail fatalities, and fatalities resulting from being struck by a vehicle, were the leading event or exposure of fatal work injuries in Missouri in 2008 and again in 2009, accounting for 59 of the 142 fatalities in 2009. The agriculture, forestry, fishing, and hunting sector accounted for 23 of the 59 transportation incidents in 2009 in Missouri, followed by the construction sector with 13. Workers between the ages of 55 to 64 years had the most fatalities, accounting for 33 of the 142 fatal work injuries in 2009. The 45 to 54 years age group led with most fatal work injuries in 2008 with 35. Wage and salary workers had the most fatalities in 2008 with 107. In 2009, self-employed workers had the most fatalities with 77.
The U.S. Department of Labor’s BLS, in conjunction with state agencies, developed the CFOI program in 1992 to produce accurate, comprehensive, descriptive, timely, and accessible counts of fatal workplace injuries that occur during a given year. A fatality is counted in the state where the incident occurred regardless of the state of employment to alleviate duplication of reporting in the states. The BLS compiles and analyzes the data from the 48 participating states and releases its yearly report sometime in fall of the following year.In efforts to reduce workplace injuries and fatalities, the Missouri Department of Labor offers free workplace safety training and programs to high-hazard businesses with 250 employees or less.
Participation in the program can lead to a reduction in workers’ compensation insurance and out-of-pocket expenses, and a decrease in workplace injuries and fatalities. Those who successfully implement a safety program over a period of time can also become exempt from targeted Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) inspections for up to three years.
To learn more about the Department’s free safety and health programs, call 573-522-SAFE or visit www.labor.mo.gov/SAFE. For more information regarding this report, please contact the media department.
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