North Dakota is the deadliest state to work in for the third year in a row, according to the country’s largest labour union.
In 2013, 14.9 per 100,000 workers in the state died on the job, claims the AFL-CIO in a new report titled “Death on the Job: The Toll of Neglect.” That number is more than four times the national average of 3.3.
“North Dakota continues to stand out as an exceptionally dangerous and deadly place to work,” according to the report, adding that “North Dakota’s fatality rate and number of deaths have more than doubled since 2007.”
The state’s oil and gas industry is a significant contributor to these numbers, according to the report. If broken out separately from other occupations, the industry’s fatality rate is 84.7, almost seven times the national average of 12.4 for the sector.
North Dakota’s numbers have come down from a high of 17.7 deaths per 100,000 workers in 2012, according to the report.
When compared to other states with large concentrations of oil and gas drilling and mining operations — Oklahoma, Louisiana and Texas — North Dakota still comes way out in front.
Deaths in the state hit a high of 65 in 2012 before slipping down to 56 in 2013. Construction work accounted for 16 of those deaths.
Nationally, on-the-job transportation and warehousing deaths account for 14 deaths per 100,000 workers, according to the report. This places them just behind agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting industry deaths, which ranked first with 23.2.
Construction workers had the most total deaths (828) nationwide in 2013.
Wyoming (9.5), West Virginia (8.6), Alaska (7.9) and New Mexico (6.7) rounded out the five most dangerous states, according to the report. Wyoming is down from a high of 16.8 deaths per 100,000 employees in 2005, according to a previous AFL-CIO report.
Mining in Wyoming and West Virginia and fishing and timber industries in Alaska have historically placed those states near the top of danger in the workplace lists.
A total of 4,585 employees died on the job in 2013, plus an additional 50,000 who succumbed to workplace-related diseases, according to the union. A further 3.8 million injuries and illnesses were also reported that year.
Latinos ranked as the most at-risk group with 817 workplace fatalities in 2013, the report found, an increase from 748 the previous year.
The safest state? Hawaii, with only 1.6 deaths per 100,000 workers.
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