Michigan work-related fatalities decline slightly: report

Leading, lagging indicators

East Lansing, MI – Work-related deaths in Michigan dropped slightly in 2013 from 2012, according to a recent report from Michigan State University’s Division of Occupational and Environmental Medicine.

The number of fatalities declined to 134 in 2013 from 135 the previous year, while the fatal injury rate declined to 3.1 deaths per 100,000 workers from 3.2 in 2012. The findings were published June 2 in the 13th annual Michigan Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation report.

The transportation and warehousing industry experienced the most fatalities (26) and the greatest risk of death (24.6 fatalities per 100,000 workers). Construction was the second most deadly industry, followed by agriculture.

The top causes of work-related fatalities included motor vehicle incidents (27), struck by (24), suicide (22), falls (19) and homicide (16). Illegal drugs, alcohol or side effects of prescription medication was listed as a potential factor in about 21 percent of all work-related fatalities for the year.

Researchers said prevention strategies could include engineering changes, focusing on health and safety plans, and providing mental health counseling to workers in need.