In Minnesota and across the United States, June is National Safety Month. According to the National Safety Council, National Safety Month is observed every year to increase awareness and decrease incidence of the main causes of injuries or fatalities at work - as well as at home and on the road. As part of National Safety Month, the NSC acknowledges businesses that have demonstrated exemplary safety records by reducing or eliminating workplace accidents and injuries.
Each year, many workers are killed while on the job, and more are in the construction industry than in any other sector of the United States economy. According to the AFL-CIO, 92 workers lost their lives in workplace accidents in Minnesota in 2016, the latest year for which figures were available. Nationwide, more than 5,100 died on the job. Of these, 991 were killed in workplace accidents while working construction jobs.
After several years with a workplace fatality rate consistently well-below the national average, Minnesota's rate of work place fatalities has risen since 2014 from 2.3 deaths per 100,000 workers to 3.4 deaths per 100,000 workers. This puts the North Star State on par with the national workplace fatality rate of 3.6 deaths per 100,000 workers. Minnesota's steep rise is not reflected on a national level, where the on-the-job death rate has remained between 3.5 and 4 fatalities per 100,000 workers since 2007.