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Understanding workplace fatalities

On Behalf of | Mar 3, 2021 | Workers' Compensation |

To understand Workers’ Compensation, it is helpful to understand workplace fatalities in Minnesota. Each year the Bureau of Labor Statistics puts together the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries. Using the data from that, this blog post will summarize major trends.

By industry

In 2018, Minnesota had 75 fatal work injuries. This is lower than the previous year but slightly higher than the average over the last 10 years. Transportation incidents were the single highest cause at 26. Most of these were on the road involving land vehicles. Equipment was second at 13. Violence by persons and falls/slips/trips were next at 12. These numbers closely parallel the national averages.

By occupation

At 20%, management occupations comprised the highest percentage of work fatalities. Most of these were agricultural managers. Agriculture, the construction trades and transportation follow this number. Sales and services had lower deaths.


About half (48%) of the deaths were people of standard working age (between 25 and 54 years old). Four percent were 18 to 19. Ages 55 and over counted for 44%. While most of the deaths were Caucasians (84%), Native Americans were over-represented in 7% of deaths while they compose 1.1% of the population. The numbers for Hispanics were slightly higher than the national average. Overwhelmingly, men died at work more often than women.

Understanding how these numbers relate to your industry can be key in lowering the rates of harm. As a worker, knowing your risks and the expectations in your industry can help a Workers’ Compensation claim. If you wish to see more information about these cases, it is available on the Bureau of Labor Statistics website.

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