Washington Workplace Deaths in 2015 Fell to Near-Historic Low

April 18, 2016

Workplace deaths in Washington fell to a near-historic low in 2015, according to a Department of Labor & Industries report.

Last year there were 58 work-related deaths in the state, 18 fewer than in 2014, and L&I data shows only 2011 and 2013 had fewer work-related deaths reported (53 and 54, respectively). Workplace deaths in Washington have declined by roughly 3.5 percent a year since 2006, when 90 were recorded, according to L&I.

“The decline in these numbers means more people avoided serious workplace incidents and were able to go home safe and healthy,” L&I Director Joel Sacks said in a statement.

There were fewer fatalities in 2015 involving motor vehicles and machines. Falls continue to be a leading cause of work-related deaths, accounting for 25 percent of the fatal incidents last year. That’s five more than the 10-year average and the highest number of fall-related deaths since 2006, according to the report.

workers_compOne-third of fatal falls were from ladders. Six of the nine construction deaths in 2015 were fall related: two were roofers, two were carpenters, one was a plumber and one was a glass installer, according to L&I.

Farm workers, loggers and other workers in the agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting sector accounted for 15 of the fatalities in 2015. That’s two less than in 2014, but there has been an average annual increase in the number of deaths in this sector since 2006, according to L&I.

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