WA Seen as One of Top States for Workplace Safety

Source: Anna Bizon - 123RF

Olympia – Washington remains one of the best states for workplace safety and health, according to a report from the Federal Bureau of Labor Statistics. For 2017, the state had the ninth lowest fatal occupational injury rate in the nation.

According to the report, there were 84 workplace deaths in Washington in 2017, which comes out to 2.5 deaths per every 100,000 fulltime workers. That’s a slight increase from 2016 when Washington’s rate was 2.4 per 100,000.

As part of the state’s focus on prevention, WA L&I partners with industry and labor on campaigns, providing free onsite consultations to public and private employers to help them find and fix workplace safety and health hazards.

The agency also works closely with high-risk industries to alert them to dangerous work situations and activities so they can prevent them.

Washington’s workplace fatality rate is 30 percent below the national average. The numbers vary from year to year, but Washington consistently demonstrates one of the lowest fatal occupational injury rates in the country.

Construction is always one of the most dangerous occupations here and nationally. Washington had 15 construction fatalities in 2017, one more than in 2016. That’s a rate of 6.2 per 100,000 full-time workers; six other states had a lower rate.

Other industrial sectors that rank high on the national list for dangerous workplaces include the category of farming, fishing, and forestry with a rate of 20.9 fatal injuries per 100,000, and transportation with a rate of 15.9.

Each of these rates is meaningfully higher than the respective rates in Washington of 11.7 and 5.8 per 100,000 full-time workers.

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