Minnesota’s yearly report on workplace safety has some disturbing news: 100 workers died on the job in 2017. That means one worker died as the result of a workplace accident every 87 hours – the highest rate in a decade, according to the state’s Department of Labor and Industry and its Department of Health and the Minnesota Safety Council.
The annual report gives state lawmakers and the public insight into Minnesota’s workplace safety issues, as well as deep-dive statistics on work-related injuries and illnesses and the fatal occupational injury rate.
The report shows that Minnesota’s fatal occupational injury rate rose from 3.4 per 100,000 full-time equivalent workers in 2016 to 3.5 in 2017 (the most recent year for which complete data is available).
The president of the state’s Safety Council said that Minnesota had experienced a steady decline in on-the-job deaths in the more than 90 years since the organization was founded, but that a recent “uptick in workplace fatalities means that “all of us – employers, government agencies, the Minnesota Safety Council and others – must continue to join forces to make our state’s workers safer.”
Also of concern: each day in 2017, an average of 198 workers in the state sustained an on-the-job injury or work-related illness. One hundred of those injuries and illnesses were categorized as serious.
The report also shows that one out of three work fatalities involved driving. Even though most work-related motor vehicle crashes were in the Twin Cities area (65 percent), three-quarters of the fatal work-related accidents were in Greater Minnesota.
In addition, the report listed the types of injuries and illnesses that were most common in workplaces in 2017, including:
- Sprains, strains and tears: 7,800
- Soreness, pain: 4,240
- Fractures: 2,300
- Cuts, lacerations, punctures: 1,590
- Bruises or contusions: 1,500
- Multiple traumatic injuries: 520
- Burns: 300
- Other injuries, illnesses: 3,530
The workplace injury report also shows that workplace falls (and resulting injuries) and concussions rose in 2017.
Most people who sustain work-related injuries or illnesses are eligible for Minnesota workers’ compensation. If you have been denied earned and deserved workers’ comp benefits, contact a St. Paul attorney experienced in effective appeals.