January 19, 2018
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Maine recorded 19 workplace deaths in 2013; all victims were male

By Darren Fishell, BDN Staff
Updated:

PORTLAND, Maine — State officials estimate 19 people died at work last year — the same number as the previous year.

For the first time since 2010, all workplace fatalities in the state were men.

Records of workplace fatalities in Maine typically have shown the most likely victims to be men older than 35 years of age, with one woman among the 19 who died in 2012 and three women dying on the job in 2011, most from transportation-related incidents. Such accidents were responsible for half the 19 workplace deaths in 2012 and remained the most common cause of workplace deaths in preliminary 2013 figures.

Transportation-related incidents caused six deaths in 2013, down from eight — or half of all workplace deaths — in the year before.

The preliminary figures account for all reported workplace deaths in 2013, with revised numbers issued in about eight months.

By metropolitan area, the figures show two of the workplace deaths occurred in the Bangor area, one in Lewiston and four in Greater Portland, with the rest happening in other areas around the state.

The statistics are related to an annual survey of workplace injury and illness reports, wherein Maine had a higher rate of on-the-job illness and injury than the rest of the country, at 5.3 injuries or illnesses per 100 workers in 2013. That number is down from 2012 and 2011 but compares with a national rate of 3.3.

Maine had the highest rates for workplace injuries and illness in the country in preliminary 2013 figures, but many states strong in industries that tend to have more injuries — such as natural-gas booming North Dakota and agriculture-heavy Oklahoma and Idaho — did not have enough data to provide preliminary state rates.

The rate of fatalities, however, was in line with the national rate for 2013, at about 3.2 per 100,000 workers.

For fatalities, the 2013 figures factor in two deaths related to violence or injury from other people or animals. One of those deaths in 2013 took place at at an egg farm in Turner, where a pest control contractor fatally shot 57-year-old farm worker Manuel Adame.

The other death, according to the federal statistics, was an intentional shooting of a male security guard, but more information on that incident was not readily available nor was it clear from news reports the incident to which the federal data referred.

Stephen McCausland, spokesman for the Maine Department of Public Safety, said the last shooting he could recall meeting that description was the 2008 shooting of a guard at Mercy Hospital in Portland.

A representative from the state’s Bureau of Labor Standards was not immediately available to address the circumstances of that workplace death report.


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