CHEYENNE – Motor vehicle crashes, followed by contact with an object and falls from heights are the leading causes of workplace deaths in Wyoming, State Occupational Epidemiologist Meredith Towle reported in the annual analysis on workplace fatalities in the state.
The Department of Workforce Services report provides in-depth details on work-related injury fatalities in Wyoming since 2012.
By design, this report complements the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI), which consistently ranks Wyoming as having one of the highest occupational fatality rates in the country, more than three times higher than the national average.
“While the federal CFOI is our official count and rank of workplace fatalities, taking a closer look at these incidents helps us better understand the causes and find prevention solutions that will make a difference state-wide,” Towle said in a news release. Toward that goal, this report provides summaries of workplace deaths by industry, county and other factors, and suggests numerous strategies to help prevent future occurrences.
Among the report’s key findings:
• The Transportation and Warehousing sector accounted for the largest proportion of workplace deaths (28%); followed by the Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing and Hunting industry (17%); and Oil & Gas Extraction and Production industries (14%).
• Of the 189 deaths identified in the report, only 30% were under Wyoming OSHA jurisdiction for investigation, and 3% were investigated by State Mines regulators.
• Fifty-one percent of the 189 fatalities were due to motor vehicle incidents, which include roadway travel crashes, non-occupants struck by moving vehicles, utility vehicle crashes, and aviation and railroad incidents.
• Natrona and Laramie counties experienced the highest number of workplace fatalities during 2012-18.
The full epidemiology report is available online at wyomingworkforce.org/data/epidemiology/.