Michigan workplace deaths stable; burns underreported: reports

April 25, 2012

East Lansing, MI – New research indicates that the rate of workplace deaths in Michigan remained stable in 2011, but burns were underreported in 2009.

Preliminary data shows 141 on-the-job deaths were reported last year, compared with 145 the year before, according to an annual report (.pdf file) from the Michigan Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation program at Michigan State University. The construction industry reported the most deaths at 24, followed by agriculture with 22. The top causes of deaths were falls and motor vehicle incidents, followed by machine-related injuries and homicides, the report stated.

A separate study found that significantly more work-related burns occurred in 2009 than employers actually reported to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Records from state hospitals, Michigan's Workers’ Compensation Agency, the state’s Poison Control Center and death certificates showed 1,461 work-related burns – more than 3 times the 450 reported to BLS, according to the study abstract.

The study was published online April 17 in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine.