Slight Rise in Oregon Work-Related Fatalities

The U.S. Bureau Of Labor Statistics released its 2018 data on workplace fatalities last month. Oregon reported 62 fatal workplace injuries. This is slightly greater than the 2017 figure, but lower than the 72 deaths reported in 2016.  

Breakdown by Sector: Agriculture, forestry, fishing, and hunting saw 12 of the 62 fatalities, the highest number of any industry category. Commercial logging was responsible for nine of those deaths, and seven of the 12 were the result of “contact with objects and equipment.”

The private construction trades came in second place, with 10 workplace fatalities, a two-point gain from the previous year. By way of comparison, the financial sector didn’t report any fatal injuries, and there was only one fatality in government.   

Fatalities by Occupation: Seen through the lens of job description, transportation and material movers experienced 19 fatalities, nine of which were heavy truck and tractor-trailer drivers. The occupational group including mine and construction workers counted 11 deaths, and the farming, fishing and forestry occupations logged 10. No attorneys died on the job, though there was one fatality in HR and three among security guards.   

Other Demographics:  95 percent of work-related fatalities in Oregon were men, and workers 24-52 years old accounted for 58 percent of deaths. 84 percent of the 62 fatalities worked for wages and salaries, the remainder being self-employed. White non-Hispanics made up 79 percent of deaths due to workplace injury. These numbers are generally in line with the national averages.   

At 24 deaths, transportation incidents were the most deadly cause of workplace fatality as cataloged by event, followed by contact with objects and equipment, with 17. Eight deaths were the result of injuries by persons or animals, including four intentional shootings and three cases of intentional self-inflicted injury. 

By Peter Bask 

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