Utahns die on the job far less often than workers do nationwide

Utah workers are killed on the job far less often than in most states, according to a new census of workplace injuries released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

In 2017, 43 Utahns died from workplace injuries — down from 44 the year before, data show.

That was a rate of 2.9 deaths per 100,000 full-time workers, or 21 percent lower than the national average of 3.5.

Utah ranked 13th best among the states nationally.

(Christopher Cherrington | The Salt Lake Tribune)

Three states tied for the lowest rate nationally at 1.6 fatal injuries per 100,000: Nevada, New Hampshire and Rhode Island.

Alaska had the worst rate in the nation at 10.2 deaths per 100,000 workers.

Nationally, 5,147 fatal work injuries occurred in 2017, down from 5,190 the previous year.

Forty percent of all those fatal work injuries nationally were caused by “transportation incidents,” ranging from vehicle collisions to pedestrians being struck or airplane and rail crashes.

Falls caused about 17 percent of all fatal work accidents. Violence — including murders or suicides — caused 16 percent.

Being caught in or struck by equipment caused about 14 percent of deaths; exposure to harmful substances caused about 10 percent; and fires or explosions caused about 2 percent.

Among industry groups, the one with the most deaths was “transportation and material-moving occupations,” with 1,443 — more than one of every four workplace deaths in 2017.

Next highest was construction with 965 deaths, or 19 percent of all deaths.

Men nationally accounted for 93 percent of all workplace deaths, while women suffered only 7 percent of on-the-job fatalities.

Data show that death rates generally increased with the age of workers nationally.

The highest rate was for workers age 65 and older, 10.3 per 100,000 workers, followed by those age 55 to 64, 4.6 per 100,000; and those 45 to 54, 3.3 per 100,000.