As an Iowa worker, you naturally are concerned about workplace safety. The bad news, however, is that Iowa is experiencing an increase in workplace fatalities. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 76 Iowa workers died in 2016, the latest year for which statistics are available. This was an increase from 60 work-related fatalities in 2015.
The top three categories of on-the-job fatalities were the following:
- Transportation accidents: 36 deaths, up from 19 the previous year
- Falls, trips and slips: 15 deaths, unchanged from the previous year
- Equipment and object accidents: 11 deaths, up from six the previous year
Together, these three types of fatalities accounted for 82 percent of all Iowa workplace deaths in 2016.
At-risk industries and occupations
The private agriculture, fishing, hunting and forestry industry saw 19 deaths in 2016 as compared to 16 in 2015. Over half, 53 percent, of the deaths were among workers involved in crop production. The private construction industry was the second highest for worker deaths, although its 13 fatalities changed little from 2015. Specialty trade contractors were most at risk for suffering a fatal work-related accident, accounting for 54 percent of the deaths.
Workers employed as drivers of tractor-trailer and other heavy trucks sustained 13 deaths, accounting for 54 percent of this occupation’s 24 deaths. Management personnel, such as farmers, ranchers and agricultural managers, sustained 12 fatalities, while construction workers sustained 11.
Gender, ethnicity and age factored into Iowa workplace fatalities as follows:
- 91 percent were men
- 86 percent were white non-Hispanics
- 49 percent were between the ages of 25 and 54, while 43 percent were 55 or older
If you are employed in one of these high-risk industries or occupations, you would do well to take every available precaution to ensure your safety at work. This is general information only and is not intended to provide legal advice.