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In Utah, deaths on the job increased 14% in 2018

(Leah Hogsten | Tribune file photo) Iron Workers position the last steel beam during a "topping out" ceremony at the new Salt Lake City International terminal building on May 22, 2018.

Utah workplaces were more deadly last year, with on-the-job fatalities up by 14% in 2018.

That is according to the annual Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries, released Tuesday by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

It said the number of deaths on the job in Utah grew from 43 in 2017 to 49 last year.

The rate of deaths per 100,000 full-time-equivalent workers increased from 2.9 to 3.4.

Utah nearly matched the national rate of 3.5, while 27 states had higher rates. Wyoming had triple the national rate at 11.5, worst in the nation. Delaware had the lowest at 1.6.

Nationally, 5,250 workers died on the job in 2018, up from 5,147 a year earlier. Those totals exclude volunteers, the military and workers under the age of 16.

In Utah, transportation accidents were the leading cause of death on the job by far, killing 22 of the 49 people who died.

In a distant second place was “contact with objects and equipment,” which killed seven. Six Utahns each were killed by “violence and other injuries by persons or animals” (which includes suicides), “falls, slips, trips,” and by “exposure to harmful substances or environments.” Another two were killed by “fires and explosions.”

The highest fatality rate among any broad occupation group in Utah was in “agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting.” It was 57.7 per 100,000 workers. Next highest was 39.1 in “mining, quarrying and oil and gas extraction,” followed by “transportation and utilities” at 16.6.

Rates for some other major broad occupation groups were: leisure and hospitality, 5.5; construction, 3.8; and manufacturing, 3.6.

Some other statistics about on-the-job deaths in Utah include:

• 48 of the 49 who died were men.

• 35 were white, and 11 were Latino. Races were not listed for the other three.

• Four of those killed were self-employed.

Data was also released about nonfatal injury rates in the states.

It said Utah had 33,300 “reportable injuries” tracked by the government in 2018, and 13,900 of them led to days away from work or work restrictions.

Some of the higher numbers of nonfatal injuries reported among major occupation groups were: 4,500 among “health care and social assistance”; 4,400 in manufacturing; 3,400 in “leisure, entertainment and hospitality”; 3,300 in construction; and 2,400 in transportation and warehousing.

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