A report released today by the U.S. Department of Labor shows 75 people died in work-related incidents last year in Iowa. That’s down from 80 fatalities in 2009, 93 in 2008 and 89 deaths in 2007.
Michael Mauro,the Iowa Commissioner of Labor, says “Looking at these numbers, it seems like we’re moving in the right direction, but accidents are accidents. Nobody intends to get up in the morning and not come home at night. We’re working at it everyday and we think the numbers are moving in the right direction.”
Fatal occupational injuries in Iowa hit a high of 110 in 1992 and a low of 54 in 1995. Traffic accidents accounted for 28 of the 75 workplace fatalities in 2010. Mauro said that 37% share of work related deaths is far above the nationwide average. He noted there are a lot of trucking companies in Iowa and two busy interstates, 35 and 80, cross through the state.
“Today, with all the different distractions going on, in addition to doing your job with all the different media available, I think a lot of these (crashes) could be avoided. We’re going to continue to work through our consultation area to inform companies about what they can do to be safer,” Mauro said.
Seven of the victims of Iowa workplace deaths in 2010 were struck by an object or equipment, while five victims died from a “fall to a lower level,” according to the report.