N.H. ’09 workplace deaths lowest in region

New Hampshire had the fewest work-related fatalities in New England in 2009, according to new figures released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.In 2009, the most recent available, six fatal work injuries were reported in New Hampshire, down from the seven fatalities reported in 2008 and the fewest reported in the Granite State since the BLS began trending the data in 1992. According to the bureau, transportation accidents accounted for three of New Hampshire’s six deaths. The number of workplace fatalities is far lower than in most other states across the region.After Rhode Island, which had seven fatal work injuries in 2009, Vermont had 12 reported fatalities, Maine had 16, Connecticut had 34 and Massachusetts had 59.For the New England region as a whole, 134 workplace-related deaths were reported in 2009, a drop of 6 percent from the 143 reported in 2008.The 2009 figures also represent the fewest recorded in series history, said the bureau.The BLS said “workplace deaths were highest in the states with the largest workforces,” with 70 percent of New England’s workplace deaths occurring in Massachusetts and Connecticut.The bureau cited transportation accidents as the leading cause of worker fatalities in Maine, Massachusetts and Vermont. Assaults and “violent acts” were the major causes of workplace deaths in Connecticut, and in Rhode Island contact with objects and equipment caused the most worker deaths.“Overall, fatal occupational injuries in New England in 2009 accounted for 3 percent of the 4,340 fatalities occurring nationwide,” said the BLS. – CINDY KIBBE/NEW HAMPSHIRE BUSINESS REVIEW

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