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HOMICIDE LEADING CAUSE OF WORKPLACE DEATH IN DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA AND FIVE STATES, ACCORDING TO NIOSH REPORT

 WASHINGTON, Nov. 29 /PRNewswire/ -- In the District of Columbia and five states -- Alabama, Connecticut, Maryland, Michigan and South Carolina -- homicide was the leading cause of workplace death for the decade 1980-1989, according to a report released today by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH).
 Although data for New York are incomplete, NIOSH estimates indicate that homicide may also be the leading cause of work-related death in that state.
 The report, "Fatal Injuries to Workers in the United States, 1980-1989: A Decade of Surveillance," contains the most comprehensive statistics to date on workplace fatalities in each state and across the nation.
 The study reveals that work-related injuries claimed the lives of 63,589 workers during the 10-year period, with homicide claiming 7,603 of these lives. While the leading cause of death varies by state, job- related motor vehicle crashes, machine-related incidents and homicides emerged as the leading killers overall.
 "Our job only begins with the identification of these problems. We must continue the fight for worker safety with new enthusiasm and realized that this is truly something that affects us all," said U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Donna E Shalala.
 The states whose workers were at highest risk of dying on the job were Alaska (34.8 deaths per 100,000 workers), Wyoming (29.0), Montana (20.9), Idaho (16.7) and West Virginia (15.7). The states with the lowest rates of fatal workplace injuries are Connecticut (1.8), Massachusetts (2.3) and New York (2.6).
 The mining industry had the highest average annual fatality rate per 100,000 workers (31.9), followed by construction (25.6), transportation/communication/public utilities (23.3) and agriculture/forestry/fishing (18.3). Black workers had the highest fatality rate (6.5), while the largest number of deaths was among white workers. Eighty percent of occupational death victims were white, 11 percent were black, 6 percent were Hispanic, 2 percent were Asian and Pacific Islanders, less than 1 percent were American Indians/Alaska Natives, and 1 percent of the cases were of other or unknown race/ethnicity.
 "NIOSH urges each state to examine the hazards threatening its workers and act now to prevent future tragedies," said the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director David Satcher, M.D.
 NIOSH is an arm of the CDC within the U.S. Public Health Service, HHS.
 -0- 11/29/93
 /CONTACT: Terry Hammond of the Public Health Service, 404-639-3902/


CO: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health; U.S.
 Department of Health and Human Services ST: District of Columbia IN: HEA SU: EXE


MH-DC -- DC018 -- 8287 11/29/93 12:18 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Nov 29, 1993
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