|September 17, 2003|
ILLINOIS WORKPLACE DEATHS DROP TO RECORD LOW
SPRINGFIELD, IL Illinois workplace fatalities in 2002 fell to the lowest level since 1992 when the Illinois Department of Public Health began collecting statistics on fatal occupational injuries.
There were190 workers killed on the job in 2002 compared with 231 in 2001 and 206 in 2000, which was the previous low total, according to the Department's 11th annual census of deaths in the workplace. The highest number of occupational deaths recorded was 262 in 1996.
"I want to commend Illinois businesses, employers and employees for their efforts to improve safety in the workplace," said Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich. "I also would encourage them to continue to take the necessary steps to better these numbers. Any workplace death is a tragedy and it is incumbent on us all to make sure the places we work are as safe as possible."
The workplace deaths are grouped in various categories, including by occupation and by industry, by type of event and by the sex, race and age of the worker who died.
Transportation and material moving occupations had the most fatalities by occupation with 40 deaths, followed by farmers (28) and construction trades (15). In 2001, there were 34 transportation and material moving operator deaths.
When compared by industry, the service (42), construction (31) and agricultural (27) industries accounted for more than half of all workplace deaths. The service industry includes those employed in auto repair, amusement, legal services and private households; the construction industry includes general building contractors, heavy construction and special trades contractors; and the agricultural industry includes those in crop production, livestock production and agricultural services.
In 2001, the construction industry had the most deaths with 48, the service industry reported 31 and there were 31 agricultural fatalities.
Fatal workplace injuries last year were highest among men (173 deaths, 91 percent), workers 45 to 54 years of age (52 deaths, 27 percent) and whites (154 deaths, 81 percent). In 2001, men also had the most workplace fatalities (205 deaths, 89 percent), workers 35 to 44 years of age (60 deaths, 26 percent) were the leading age group for occupational deaths and whites (204 deaths, 88 percent) had the most job-related deaths.
Almost 19 percent of those who died in 2002 (36) were self-employed, which was down from 23 percent and 54 deaths in 2001.
Homicide was the leading cause of death in the workplace in 2002 with 37 recorded. Other causes by event were falls to a lower level (27), highway incidents (21), non-highway incidents - incidents that occur with vehicles and machinery on farms, industrial premises or construction (19), being hit by a falling object (14) and being -more- add 2 struck by a vehicle (13).
In 2001, highway incidents (35) were the most frequent cause of occupational death, followed by homicides (34) and falls to a lower level (33).
The Department's Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries is part of a U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics effort 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, worker's compensation reports, U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) reports and news media accounts.
of Public Health
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Springfield, Illinois 62761
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