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The Washington Department of Labor and Industries is hailing its status as one of the top states for workplace safety, showing a workplace fatality rate that is 30% below the national average, according to a report from the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics in December.
For 2017, Washington had the ninth lowest fatal occupational injury rate in the nation, according to a statement highlighting that there were 84 workplace deaths in Washington in 2017, a rate of 2.5 deaths per every 100,000 full-time workers. That’s a slight increase from 2016 when Washington’s rate was 2.4 per 100,000, the department reported on Dec. 21.
In construction, Washington had 15 fatalities in 2017, one more than in 2016, representing a rate of 6.2 per 100,000 full-time workers. Six other states had a lower rate, according to the Washington L&I.
Other industrial sectors that rank high on the national list for dangerous workplaces include the category of farming, fishing and forestry with a rate of 20.9 fatal injuries per 100,000, and transportation with a rate of 15.9 per 100,000. In Washington, the injury rates in those sectors were 11.7 and 5.8 per 100,000 full-time workers in farming, fishing and forestry and transportation, respectively.
"This report shows we’re on the right track, but there’s always more to do to keep workers safe and healthy. We all need to continue our focus on preventing falls and the disturbing rise of workplace violence," Anne Soiza, L&I assistant director for the Division of Occupational Safety and Health, said in a statement.
A bill that would cover cancer and other illnesses under presumption for former workers of the decommissioned Hanford nuclear site in Hanford, Washington, was revived by the Washington state House Rules Committee on Tuesday.