In 2008 there were 65 work related fatalities in Minnesota. While that number is down from 2007, that is still 65 people who never went home to their families. Transportation related accidents make up the highest percentage of work related fatalities; usually around 45%. Contacts with objects and equipment make up about 40% of fatalities. Following those exposures to harmful substances or environments, falls and assaults/violent acts make up the rest of the cause of workplace fatalities in Minnesota.
MN OSHA generally does not investigate fatalities or accidents involving traffic accidents, airplane crashes, mining and small family farms and self-employed people with no employees. Traffic accidents are usually investigated by law enforcement, aircraft accidents by NTSB and mining by Mine Safety and Health Administration.
Citations for fatalities where OSHA determines the employer causes or contributes to the fatality start at $25,000.
Of the 36 construction fatalities between 2005 and 2009, eight involved willful citations – employers knowingly putting their employees in harm’s way.