DLI releases 2018 Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries in Montana

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HELENA – Work-related fatalities decreased in Montana over the last year, from 32 in 2017 to 28 in 2018, according to the annual Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries, released today by the Montana Department of Labor & Industry (DLI).

“Today’s report shows a decline in the number of workplace fatalities,” DLI Commissioner Galen Hollenbaugh said. “One death is too many, which is why the Montana Department of Labor & Industry is committed to improving the safety and health of all Montanans.”

The census is conducted as part of a complete count of fatal work injuries in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The statistics are used to fulfill a commitment to increasing safety in the workplace across the nation.

Transportation incidents were the leading cause of fatal occupational injuries to Montana workers in 2018, with 14, or 50% of fatalities. Contact with objects and equipment accounted for five, or 18% of fatalities. Falls, slips and trips, and exposure to harmful substances or environments each had three, or 11% of fatalities.

Goods producing injuries recorded 16 fatalities, while service providing industries had 11 and government experienced one. Within the goods industries, the construction industry had nine fatal occupational injuries. The natural resources and mining category had eight, with five in agriculture, forestry and fishing, and three in mining and quarrying. In the service providing industries, trade, transportation and utilities had seven fatalities.

Males accounted for all 28 of Montana’s work-related fatalities in 2018. These fatal injuries were highest among the 55 to 64 and 35 to 44 age ranges, with six each, or 21%. Over half of the employees fatally injured in 2018 worked for employers, earning wages or salaries, with 17 of the 28 injuries, or 61%. Eleven self-employed workers, including farmers, paid and unpaid family workers, made up the remaining 39% of the 2018 workplace fatalities in Montana.

The full 2018 Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries in Montana can be found here: http://erd.dli.mt.gov/work-comp-claims/cfoi

Montana businesses can contact DLI’s Safety & Health Bureau to receive free, confidential safety consultations that can assist with compliance of OSHA regulations. Professional staff will help employers identify safety and health hazards and provide recommendations to eliminate or reduce hazards and improve the overall safety of their workplace.

“We encourage all Montana businesses to take advantage of these safety consultations to ensure the safety of their workers,” said Eric Strauss, Administrator for DLI’s Employment Services Division. “Consultations can help in eliminating workplace hazards, develop or strengthen health and safety programs, and help to establish a positive safety culture in your workplace.”

No fees are charged for these consultations, and no fines or penalties are levied for any safety or health hazards found. Employers or employees, with the approval from their employer, may request this service by contacting the Safety & Health Bureau, at (406) 494-0324. For more information on the Safety & Health Consultation Program, visit http://erd.dli.mt.gov/safety-health/onsite-consultation?pk_vid=263404bcd152759315754003787a2bf1. To request a free safety consultation, visit http://erd.dli.mt.gov/safety-health/onsite-consultation/on-site-safety-consultation-request.