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Work-related deaths in Colorado decreased in 2015 compared with 2014, although private construction deaths are on the rise, according to data released by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.
There were 75 work-related deaths in Colorado in 2015, down from 84 deaths reported in 2014, according to the data released Monday. In comparison, there were 65 deaths reported in 2013, 82 in 2012 and 92 in 2011.
However, there was a 62% increase in private construction industry deaths in 2015 — 21 deaths vs. 13 in 2014 — which is the highest number since 2008 and “mirrors the national trend,” the department said in a statement. Of those, 13 were caused by falls, slips and trips, the department said.
Overall, the private sector represented the highest number of fatalities, with 67 deaths among private industry workers vs. eight among government workers.
Transportation-related deaths were the leading cause of work-related deaths in 2015, with 34 deaths reported. Of these, 22 were roadway accidents.
The data also highlighted other causes of work-related deaths in Colorado in 2015: 20 deaths caused by falls, slips, and trips; nine deaths from contact with objects or equipment; and eight deaths from violence — six of which were self-inflicted.
Caucasian workers experienced the highest number of workplace deaths in 2015, at 49, while 20 were among Hispanic or Latino workers. Workers ages 55 to 64 years had the highest number of fatalities, with 18 deaths in 2015, followed by workers ages 45 to 54 years, with 15 deaths, according to the data.
The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration is concerned by a growing number of excavation fatalities in 2016, according to an agency official.