August 14, 2001
WORKPLACE FATALITIES FALL FOR FOURTH CONSECUTIVE YEAR
SPRINGFIELD, IL The number of Illinois workers killed on the job fell for the fourth straight year to the lowest level in the nine-year history of the fatality census, the Illinois Department of Public Health reported today. There was a total of 205 workplace deaths in 2000 compared with 208 in 1999 and 216 in 1998.
Based on the number of deaths recorded by occupation, motor vehicle operators had the most fatalities in the state in 2000, with 29 deaths, followed by the construction trades (except supervisors), with 26. Farming deaths dropped from being the top occupational fatality in 1999, with 29, to 14 in 2000.
Construction and transportation/public utilities were the industries with the most fatalities, 47 and 38, respectively, and accounted for 41 percent of the total deaths. In construction, 32 deaths were special trades contractors, which include electrical work, roofing and siding. Trucking and warehousing represented more than half the deaths (20) in the transportation and public utilities category. In 1999, construction and transportation/public utilities shared the highest number of workplace deaths (37).
Although men suffered 187, or 91 percent, of the workplace deaths in 2000, 10 times higher than the number of deaths among women workers, this was down from the 195, or 94 percent, of occupational fatalities in 1999. Whites accounted for 159, or 78 percent, of the fatalities, while 22 African Americans and 17 Hispanics died on the job in 2000. Among age groups, the highest number of deaths was recorded among persons 35 to 44 years of age (57), followed by persons 45 to 54 years of age (47) and 25 to 34 years of age (33). The 2000 data echo those from 1999 when most deaths were in the 35- to 44-age group (51) followed by the 45- to 54-age group (50). Twenty-two percent of those who died in 2000 (44) were self-employed, down slightly from 25 percent in 1999 (51).
Highway collision and non collision, with 35 deaths, was the leading event cause of workplace fatalities. Other leading events included homicide (23), being struck by a vehicle in a roadway (21), fall to a lower level (20) and being struck by an object (17). In 1999, homicide was the leading event cause of death on the job, with 29, followed by fall to a lower level (26) and highway collision and non collision (24).
Since 1992, when the Department began collecting occupational deaths, the highest number recorded was 262 in 1996. Other years and death totals were 248 in 1992, 252 in 1993, 247 in 1994, 249 in 1995, 240 in 1997, 216 in 1998 and 208 in 1999.
The Departments Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries, conducted for the ninth year, is part of an effort by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics to provide a complete count of fatal work injuries in all 50 states. In Illinois, records are compiled by the Department from a variety of sources, including death certificates, workers compensation reports, U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) reports and news media stories.
The deaths are grouped in various categories including industry, occupation, event, sex, race and age.
of Public Health
535 West Jefferson Street
Springfield, Illinois 62761
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