PORTLAND, Maine — The number of people who died in 2012 because of work-related accidents in Maine declined 27 percent compared with 2011, when that number hit the highest one-year total since 2003.

A Maine Department of Labor report released Monday found that 19 people died because of accidents at work in 2012, compared with 26 in 2011. Over the last 10 years, an average of 22 people died per year because of workplace accidents or injuries.

Transportation incidents continued to make up the largest portion of those deaths, 41 percent, followed by accidental falls, contact with equipment and exposure to harmful substances, according to the report.

The largest share of those deaths were in occupations related to farming, fishing and forestry, followed by transportation and material moving and installation maintenance and repairs.

The rate of workplace fatalities for 2012, measured per 100,000 workers, was 3.2. That number is down from 4.2 one year earlier. The number for 2012 was below the national rate of occupational fatalities of 3.4.

Darren Fishell

Darren is a Portland-based reporter for the Bangor Daily News writing about the Maine economy and business. He's interested in putting economic data in context and finding the stories behind the numbers.