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Minnesota Injury Facts, 2004 Edition: Workplace Injuries, Minnesota

The Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry reports nine fewer people died on the job in Minnesota in 2003 than in 2002. The total of 72 fatal work injuries is below the 1998-2002 five-year average (75 deaths per year).

Transportation incidents continued to be the most frequent fatal work-injury, accounting for 42 percent of the cases. "Transportation" encompasses highway crashes, workers being struck by vehicles and mobile equipment, and incidents on farms or in industrial worksites. Deaths resulting from transportation incidents dropped from 44 cases in 2002 to 30 cases in 2003. Fatalities due to assaults and violent acts increased from three cases in 2002 to nine cases in 2003.

Among industries, agriculture recorded the highest number of worker deaths—19—a decrease of three from 2002. Construction had the second-highest number of deaths, with 10 cases, a decrease of five cases from the previous year. Deaths among government workers dropped from 12 cases in 2002 to three cases in 2003. Self-employed workers accounted for 17 deaths, 16 of them workers in agriculture. Seven women were fatally injured in 2003, four fewer than in 2002. Sixty-five men died, compared to 70 in 2002.

Event or exposure causing fatal work injury, 1998-2002 average 1
Event or exposure
Total number of fatalities
Percentage of total
Total 385 100.0%
Transportation incidents 182 47.3
Highway incident 113 29.4
a) Collision between vehicles, mobile equipment 53 13.8
b) Jack-knifed or overturned—no collision 31 8.1
Nonhighway incident, except rail, air, water 25 6.5
Worker struck by vehicle, mobile equipment 21 5.5
Contact with objects and equipment 96 24.9
Struck by object 51 13.2
Caught in or compressed by equipment or objects 27 7.0
Caught in or crushed in collapsing materials 18 4.7
Falls 42 10.9
Fall from roof 13 3.4
Exposure to harmful substances or environments 30 7.8
Contact with electric current 16 4.2
Assaults and violent acts 19 4.9
Homicides 14 3.6
Fires and explosions 7 1.8
1. Includes private sector plus local, state and federal government (including resident armed forces). Includes self-employed and unpaid family workers, including family farm workers. Excludes fatal illnesses.
Source: Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry, May 2004

The University of Minnesota's Agricultural Safety and Health Program collects data from news clippings about unintentional injuries on Minnsota's farms. In 2003, there were 25 deaths (including non-work-related injuries); 23 men and 2 women. The three most common causes of death were being pinned by an object or equipment, falls and tractor rollovers.

More detail on work-related injury and illness:
Minnesota Workplace Safety Report: Occupational Injuries and Illnesses, 2002, Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry, May 2004 http://www.dli.mn.gov/RS/PDF/saferpt02.pdf
University of Minnesota Agricultural Safety and Health Program http://safety.coafes.umn.edu/fatalities/2003 fatalities.pdf

Workplace injuries, U.S.
  • Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, http://www.bls.gov/bls/safety.htm
  • National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Centers for Disease Control, http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/docs/chartbook/


  • Additional Pages
    Fatal injuries, Minnesota
    Non-fatal injuries, Minnesota
    All injuries, U.S.
  • Centers for Disease Control, http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/ss5307a1.htm


  • Traffic injuries, Minnesota
    Traffic injuries, U.S.
  • National Center for Statistics and Analysis, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, U.S. DOT, http://www.nhtsa.gov/NCSA


  • Injuries in the home, Minnesota
    Injuries in the home, U.S.
  • Consumer Product Safety Commission, http://www.cpsc.gov/LIBRARY/data.html


  • Recreational injuries, Minnesota
    Recreational injuries, U.S.
  • Consumer Product Safety Commission, http://www.cpsc.gov/LIBRARY/data.html


  • Minnesota injuries by age
  • Minnesota Injury Facts, Ages 1-19
  • Minnesota Injury Facts, Ages 20-39
  • Minnesota Injury Facts, Ages 40-59
  • Minnesota Injury Facts, Ages 60-85+

  • Minnesota Department of Health:
  • Ten Leading Causes of Nonfatal Hospitalized Injury by Age Group, Minnesota 1998-2001
  • Ten Leading Causes of Nonfatal ED-treated Injury by Age Group, Minnesota 1998-2001


  • Minnesota injuries by gender Minnesota injuries by costs
  • Minnesota Department of Health, http://www.health.state.mn.us/injury/pub/ed2001/index.cfm (see "Impact")
  • Minnesota Department of Public Safety, http://www.dps.state.mn.us/ots/crashdata/codes_project.asp


  • Prevention recommendations