Work-related deaths in Michigan trend down in 2019

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    Thirty-five people died in work-related injuries in Michigan last year, according to figures from the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MIOSHA). 

    The final workplace death of the year was on Dec. 18 and involved a 59-year old cashier in Lansing “placing a box on a mezzanine while approximately 6-foot high on an 8-foot step ladder. The box started to fall and was going to land on a coworker, so the cashier reached for it and fell backwards off the ladder to the cement floor,” according to MIOSHA. 

    The vast majority of the deaths — 16 — involved workers being struck by an object, while falls accounted for 10 deaths in 2019, according to the MIOSHA figures. 

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    Other incidents stemmed from workers being caught in or between objects, shocks, electrocutions and inhalation. 

    The 35 workplace deaths in 2019 is a slight decrease from other recent years, MIOSHA figures show. In 2016, 43 people died on the job, while 39 people died in 2017 and there were 38 deaths in 2018. 

    Records from MIOSHA show that 2009 made for the lowest number of workplace fatalities with 24.

    Nick Manes
    Nick Manes covers West Michigan, business and labor, health care and the safety net. He previously spent six years as a reporter at MiBiz covering commercial real estate, economic development and all manner of public policy at the local and state levels. His byline also has appeared in Route Fifty and The Daily Beast. When not reporting around the state or furiously tweeting, he enjoys spending time with his girlfriend, Krista, biking around his hometown of Grand Rapids and torturing himself rooting for the Detroit Lions.