New numbers from state labor officials say 2014 was a safer year for Minnesota's workers – but the number of workplace fatalities remained high in a few key industries.
According to a Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry (DLI) news release, 62 people lost their lives on the job last year, representing a modest three-year drop in workplace deaths (there were 70 in 2012).
What's more, the 2014 death toll is lower than the average number of work-related fatalities between 2009 and 2013, which was 66.
Still, there were some alarming statistics in Thursday's report, which showed that the agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting sectors took the most fatalities, with the number of cases jumping from 17 in 2013 to 21 in 2014.
The trade, transportation and utilities industries didn't fare much better, with 18 workers having lost their lives – two more than the year before.
Construction, meanwhile, was the third most deadly sector last year, reporting seven cases.
And the most fatal type of workplace accident? Transportation incidents, the DLI says. There were 25. Other "types" include "contact with objects and equipment" (i.e. being struck by a piece of machinery), falls, and workplace violence, which claimed four lives last year.
The statistics may also suggest that Minnesota's workplace fatalities predominantly take place in male-dominated professions, with 60 of the 62 workers who died last year having been men.
DLI says it worked with data from the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries, which is operated by the U.S. Department of Labor.