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January 12, 2023

Connecticut Sees Record-Low Year for Workplace Fatalities

SOURCE: https://www.cbia.com/news/hr-safety/ct-record-low-workplace-fatalities

Connecticut’s workplace safety record was among the best in the nation in 2021, according to new data. 

The state recorded 23 workplace fatalities, down 21% from the year before, and the lowest number recorded since tracking began in 1992.

Connecticut had the second lowest number of per capita workplace deaths in the country, second only to Rhode Island. 

The U.S. Bureau of Labor statistics released the data to close out 2022 as part of its annual fatal occupational injuries report.

Rhode Island recorded five fatalities—the fewest of any state—followed by Vermont (10) and Delaware (13).

Safe Workplaces

Overall, Connecticut had the ninth-lowest total fatality count in the country.

CBIA director of compensation and safety services Phillip Montgomery said the report confirms that Connecticut workplaces continue to get safer.

"Connecticut employers are placing more and more emphasis on safe working conditions, including a real focus on employee training,” Montgomery said.

"The latest DOL occupational injuries report highlights the results of those efforts, as does the continued decline in workers’ compensation premium rates.”

Last October, the Connecticut Insurance Department approved the ninth consecutive annual cut in workers’ compensation rates.

Premium rates dropped 3% for the Connecticut voluntary market in 2023 based on the National Council on Compensation Insurance’s recommendations.

National Numbers

Employers are encouraged to continue to make safety a priority. 

There was an alarming rise in workplace deaths in 2021 nationwide, with 5,190 fatal workplace injuries. 

The number of deaths represents a 9% increase over 2020. It is the equivalent of an American worker dying on the job every 101 minutes.

While the total number is lower than the 2019 count, the 3.6% fatal work injury rate is the highest since 2016.

U.S. DOL assistant secretary for occupational safety and health Doug Parker said the figures should serve "as a call to action for OSHA, employers, and other stakeholders to redouble our collective efforts to make our nation’s workplaces safer.”

"OSHA and its thousands of professionals across the nation are determined to enforce the law while working with employers, workers, labor unions, trade associations, and other stakeholders to ensure that every worker in the U.S. ends their workday safely.”

Industry Findings

Transportation and material moving occupations proved the most dangerous in 2021, with 1,523 fatal incidents—a 19% increase over 2021.

Consequently, transportation incidents remained the most frequent type of fatality, making up more than 38% of the total incidents.

Black and Hispanic workers both had disproportionately high fatality rates (4% and 4.5%, respectively).

The share of Black workers fatally injured while working reached a record high of 12.6% of all deaths—up from 11.4% in 2020.

Federal safety professionals said the data is deeply troubling and a signal of the important changes that must be made.

"Each of these deaths cruelly impacts these workers’ families, friends, co-workers, and communities,” Parker said. 

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