April was the cruelest month, and more Washington workers died on the job in 2010 - 86 - than died since 2006, when 90 workers lost their lives.
The 2010 total was up by 21 from 2009.
Eleven fewer workers, for a total of five, died in Pierce County in 2010 compared with 2009. One more, for a total of 14, died in King County. No workers died in Thurston County – where two died in 2009.
The most dangerous industry category in 2010 remained agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting.
The Department of Labor and Industries issued the fatalities data Tuesday as part of its regular News for Small Business report. The final data were included in a January report compiled by the state Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation, and included deaths by acute trauma, chemical exposure, homicide, suicide and incidents related to motor vehicles.
Not included were workplace deaths suffered due to natural causes, disease or past injury.
Among the findings for 2010:
• Machine-related injuries marked the major cause – at 22 percent – of workplace deaths.
• The report notes a “dramatic decrease” in workplace homicides and suicides, down to seven from 20.
• Along with fishing, agricultural equipment operation and logging, the list of high-risk industries or occupations in 2010 included refinery workers and tractor-trailer drivers.
• Deaths in the construction industry – which led the state in 2006, 2007 and 2008 – fell behind both agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting; and transportation and warehousing, in both 2009 and 2010.
• In 2010, 18 workers were killed in motor vehicle incidents; nine were struck by falling objects; seven met their end by explosion; seven died in falls; four by homicide; two by electrocution; and one due to an injury caused by an animal.
• Only one death was reported in the mining industry, and one each in accommodations and food service; education services, arts entertainment and recreation; and finance and insurance.
• Where summer months typically see the highest number of workplace fatalities, April – with a refinery explosion that took seven lives – saw the greater number in 2010, for a total of 12. November saw the fewest, at three.
C.R. Roberts: 253-597-8535 firstname.lastname@example.org