Number of workplace deaths in Alaska see steep decline

    Juneau, Alaska (KINY) - Workplace deaths in Alaska have seen a dramatic decline.

    Economist Rob Kriger in the Research and Analysis Unit of the State Department of Labor and Workforce Development prepared an article on that subject for the November edition of Alaska Economic Trends.

    He says Alaska had the lowest level of workplace related deaths in 2015 since 1992 which was the first year data was collected.  There were 14 deaths in 2015 compared to 91 in 1992.

    There were no related deaths in commercial fishing for the first time ever.

    Another reason for the decline is logging which had a large number of fatalities in the early to mid 90's, but barely exists in the state today.

    Krieger said most deaths now are transportation related.  They have always been the most common cause of workplace fatalities in Alaska at just two thirds of deaths since 1992.

    Alaska has seen a dramatic improvement in its ranking among states when the number of deaths per 100,000 workers is listed. The average from 1992 to 1996 stood at 22 point 9.  It was at 4 point 1 in 2015.  The national rate has historically ranged between 3 point 4 to 5.

    Kriger made his comments on Action Line this week.

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