Washington ranks as one of the 10 safest states in the country in which to work, based on an assessment of workplace fatalities in 2016 and 2017 ― the most recent data available.
Washington recorded a total of 84 fatal workplace injuries in 2017, up 7.7% from the prior year, which was good enough for a ninth-place showing in the study prepared by small-business services platform Business.org.
New Hampshire ranks as the safest state in which to work, with a total of 11 fatal work accidents in 2017, down from 22 in 2016. Trailing Washington as the tenth-safest state is Virginia, with 118 workplace fatalities in 2017, down from 153 the prior year.
The study is based on the analysis of workplace-fatality data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. States were ranked according to an index score that considers the number of fatal workplace injuries per 100,000 residents 18 years of age and older as well as the percentage change in fatalities between 2016 and 2017.
“According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than 5,000 people suffer fatal work injuries every year,” the Business.org study states. “There were even more workplace injuries that weren’t fatal, but still serious enough to land someone in the hospital.”
The most dangerous state in which to work is North Dakota, the study found, which recorded 38 fatal work accidents in 2017, up from 28 in 2016. Trailing North Dakota as the second-most dangerous state is Alaska, with 33 workplace deaths in 2017, compared with 35 the prior year.
California recorded the highest number of workplace fatalities in 2017, with 376, the same number recorded in 2016. Because of its large population, however, California’s workplace-death tally is still relatively low per 100,000 residents― good enough to give the Golden State a sixth-place ranking in the study, three notches above Washington.
Vermont, ranked as the third-most dangerous state in which to work, recording one of the highest percentage increases in workplace fatalities between 2016 and 2017, at 120% ― with deaths jumping from 10 to 22 over the period. New Jersey and Rhode Island ranked as the second- and third-safest states, respectively.
“Business owners face a lot of challenges when building a successful and thriving business,” the Business.org study concludes. “Creating a safe workplace is one of those considerations that just can’t be ignored. Fortunately, as a business owner, you can impact the safety of the workplace, even if you do business in one of the dangerous states on our list.”