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18 on-the-job deaths in isles last year


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POSTED: Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Eighteen people died on the job in Hawaii last year, according to preliminary numbers released yesterday by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The bureau will release the final 2008 numbers in April.

The 18 deaths are the third lowest in Hawaii since the federal government starting tracking fatal occupational injuries in 1992. Last year was also the second year in a row workplace fatalities in Hawaii declined, following the national trend.

There were a total of 5,071 occupational fatalities nationwide last year.

Half of the Hawaii workplace deaths last year involved aircraft or people getting caught in or crushed by equipment, objects or machinery. That is higher than the national average for both categories.

The six aircraft-related fatalities represent 33 percent of all Hawaii workplace deaths, while the three fatalities involving equipment, objects or machinery represent 17 percent.

The national percentages for the two categories are 4 and 10, respectively.

The other Hawaii fatalities were involved in transportation incidents or struck by objects or equipment.

All but one of the people who died on the job in Hawaii last year were men, and a third were in the prime working age group of 25 to 54 years old.

Nationally, 63 percent of the people who died on the job were in the prime working age group.

One-third of the people who died on the job in Hawaii were Asian, while 28 percent were non-Hispanic white. And more than half, 83 percent, were wage or salary workers. The rest were self-employed.