Work-related deaths in Colorado increase slightly; transportation incidents leading cause

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Shannon Barbare, Communications Specialist | 303-692-2036 |
DENVER—Work-related deaths in Colorado increased slightly between 2015 and 2016, according to data released by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. In 2016, there were a total of 81 fatal work injuries recorded, an 8 percent increase from the 75 reported in 2015. The fatal injury rate also increased to 3 per 100,000 full-time equivalent workers from 2.9 in 2015.
The figures, available on the Bureau of Labor Statistics website, indicate work injuries involving transportation remained the most common cause of work-related deaths in Colorado in 2016, accounting for 59 percent (48 workers). Violence and other injuries by people or animals was the second most prevalent cause of fatal work injuries, up to 13 fatalities in 2016 from eight in 2015. There were 20 fatalities in the trade, transportation and utilities industry. Fatalities in the construction industry decreased by 43 percent, from 21 fatalities in 2015 to 12 fatalities in 2016. Some numbers do not add up to 100 because some data do not meet the Bureau of Labor Statistics publication criteria.
Causes of work-related deaths in 2016
  • Transportation-related deaths continued to be the leading cause of work-related deaths in Colorado, with 48 deaths accounting for 59 percent of the state’s 81 occupational fatalities during 2016. Of these 48 deaths, 33 were roadway accidents.
  • Thirteen deaths were due to violence or other injuries by people or animals.
  • Eight deaths were from falls, slips or trips.
  • Six deaths were from contact with objects and equipment.
  • Six deaths were due to other causes.
2016 work-related deaths by worker characteristics
  • Men accounted for 75 (93 percent) of the 81 worker deaths in 2016.
  • Fifty-three deaths were among white, non-Hispanic workers, 23 were among Hispanic or Latino workers, and three deaths were among black or African-American workers.*
  • Workers ages 55 to 64 years had the highest number of fatalities, with 22 deaths in 2016.
2016 work-related deaths by industry
Overall, 71 fatalities occurred among private industry workers, and 10 occurred among government workers.
  • There were 20 deaths in the trade, transportation and utilities sector and 11 deaths in the professional and business services sector.
  • Natural resources and mining deaths increased by 50 percent, from six deaths in 2015 to nine deaths in 2016. Seven of these nine deaths were due to transportation incidents.
  • There were 12 deaths in construction. This represents a 43 percent decrease from 2015, when Colorado had 21 deaths in construction.
The Colorado Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries, from which the data are drawn, is a cooperative effort of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment and the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics. Work-related fatalities are identified by reviewing death certificates, coroners’ reports, workers’ compensation claims, U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration reports, and other sources.