Press Release

August 10, 2006


Workplace deaths in Illinois drop

 2005 work related fatalities total 194

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Dr. Eric E. Whitaker, state public health director announced today Illinois saw a decrease in the number of workplace fatalities in 2005. Following a record low of 190 work-related fatalities in 2002, the number rose to 200 in 2003, 208 in 2004 and then decreased to 194 in 2005, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health’s 14th annual census of on the job deaths. The highest number of occupational fatalities was 262 in 1996.

Workplace deaths are grouped into various categories including occupation, industry, type of event as well as the sex, race and age of the worker who died.

More than one-third of the fatalities in 2005 were caused by transportation incidents (74 deaths, 38 percent), including collisions, non-collisions and pedestrians struck by a vehicle. Contact with objects and equipment (34 deaths, 17 percent) were the second leading cause of workplace deaths. Other notable events were assaults and violent acts (30 deaths, 15 percent) and exposures to harmful substances (26 deaths, 13 percent).

Of all occupations, motor vehicle operators suffered the most fatalities with 43 deaths (22 percent). When compared by industry, transportation and warehousing industries had the most deaths with 35 (17 percent), followed by farming industry with 32 (16 percent).

Fatal workplace injuries were highest among men (177 deaths, 91 percent), workers age 45 to 54 (48 deaths, 25 percent), and whites (166 deaths, 86 percent). In 2004, men also suffered the most fatalities (191 deaths, 92 percent), workers 45 to 54 years of age (63 deaths, 30 percent) were the leading age group for occupational deaths and whites (183 deaths, 88 percent) had the most job-related deaths.

The Department’s Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries has collected data since 1992 and is part of a U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics effort to provide a complete count of fatal work injuries in all 50 states. Information is compiled from a variety of sources including death certificates, worker’s compensation reports, transportation department reports, U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) reports and news media accounts.

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Illinois Department of Public Health
535 West Jefferson Street
Springfield, Illinois 62761
Phone 217-782-4977
Fax 217-782-3987
TTY 800-547-0466
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