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North Dakota Has Most Workplace Deaths - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

North Dakota Has Most Workplace Deaths

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Courtesy: OSHA Courtesy: OSHA
   Rapid growth in North Dakota could be endangering the lives of people on the job. April 28, 2014 is worker's memorial day honors those killed or injured on the job and our state has more than any other.   North Dakota ranks number one for many things like lowest unemployment rate and even a number one ranked college football team, but new numbers from the U.S. Government show North Dakota rank number one when it comes to work place deaths. As Valley News Team's Ashley Bishop explains safety standards may not be keeping up with growth in the area.

Each year thousands of Americans get injured or killed because of hazards they face on the job. In 2012, North Dakota had the most deaths per capita than any other state. North Dakota had 65 deaths on the job and Minnesota had 70.

"Minnesota is a much larger state with many workers working in a sense what it does show is how far north dakota has fallen with keeping the work places safe," says West Area Labor Council President (AFL-CIO) Mark Froemke.  

Some of the most dangerous jobs in North Dakota are the construction industry with 25 fatalities and natural resources and mining industry with 41 deaths. The agriculture, forestry fishing and hunting industry saw 11 deaths and The service providing industry which includes retail and transportation of goods had 12 fatalities.

Overall in 2012 about 17 of 100,000 workers died, in Minnesota only 3 workers died out of 100,000. So why is North Dakota seeing more workplace fatalities?
 
"What has happened is we have not kept up with safety, OSHA, inspections that need to be taken care of, to make sure worker can come home safe," says Froemke.

North Dakota relies on federal Occupational Safety & Health Administration department  where as Minnesota has a state department of OSHA.

"What we do need is more money put in OSHA at the federal level and also we have more inspectors that can make sure the work sites are safe," say Froemke.  

Worker's memorial day was created back in 1971 to help ensure safe, healthy working conditions.
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