Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Workplace Fatalities Decrease in 2014 18 Lost Lives in Area; Nation Saw 2 ; Rise

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Workplace Fatalities Decrease in 2014 18 Lost Lives in Area; Nation Saw 2 ; Rise

Article excerpt

Workplace fatalities recorded in the Pittsburgh area dropped to 18 in 2014, down from 29 in 2013 and the lowest number since area data was first calculated in 2003, according to a report released Thursday from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Meanwhile, the country saw a 2 percent rise in worker deaths, increasing to 4,679 fatalities recorded in 2014 from 4,585 fatalities in 2013. All figures for 2014 are preliminary and final data from that year will be released later this spring.

The 2014 count, assuming revisions do not drastically alter it, represents a significant improvement for southwestern Pennsylvania, where workplace deaths averaged 36 a year from 2005 to 2013.

Regionally, the most common causes and industries appeared to follow national historical figures. The report showed six workers in southwestern Pennsylvania died from slips, trips and falls; and six others died resulting from transportation accidents. Another four workers died at the hands of other people, including homicides and suicides.

The construction sector recorded four worker deaths, the same number as in 2013. Transportation and warehousing also recorded four fatalities, halved from eight deaths in 2013. The government reported four employee deaths, after reporting none in 2013.

Male workers made up about nine in 10 deaths, while more than three in five deaths were workers between the ages of 45 to 64, according to the report.

Christopher Robinson, Pittsburgh's area director for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, said the decline in fatalities reflects stepped-up outreach and enforcement on key hazards and better partnerships with the trade associations. In recent years, Pittsburgh's OSHA office has homed in on falls - the second-leading cause of fatal worker injuries in 2014. …

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