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Illinois Among the Safest States for Workers

John Lesaganich May 24, 2018

According to statistics from 2016, which is the latest year for which such data was available, Illinois had the 11th lowest rate of workplace fatalities in the United States. That year 5,190 died while on the job in America. Of the workers killed, 171 were in Illinois. The national rate for workplace fatalities was 3.6 deaths per 100,000 workers, accounting for all industries. In contrast, the workplace fatality rate in Illinois was well below the national average at 2.9 deaths per 100,000 workers. Meanwhile, the state’s rate of workplace illness or injury – including workers’ compensation injuries – was 2.7 per 100 workers.

These figures come from “Death on the Job, The Toll of Neglect” – AFL/CIO’s annual compilation of workplace safety, injury and fatality statistics. Released in April of this year, the 2016 numbers marked a significant uptick over the number of on-the-job fatalities in 2015, which saw 4,836 workers killed in the workplace. Connecticut, Rhode Island and California had the lowest workplace fatality rates in the nation, at 1.6, 1.8 and 2.2 per 100,000 workers, respectively.

On the other end of the spectrum lay the most dangerous states for worker. Wyoming reported – by far – the highest rate of workplace fatalities at 12.3 deaths per 100,000 workers. Alaska was second most dangerous at 10.6 deaths per 100,000 workers and Montana was third from the bottom with 7.9 deaths for every 100,000 people working in the state.

The most dangerous sector on a per capita basis was Agriculture/Forestry/Fishing/Hunting. Workers in these industries were killed at a rate of 23.2 for every 100,000 people employed in these lines of work. In terms of raw numbers, construction accounted for almost 20 percent of all workplace deaths, with 991 in 2016. Workplace violence – including 500 homicides – was the second most common cause of fatality on the job, accounting for 866 workplace deaths.