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.
In 2016, the latest year for which data is available, nearly 5,200 workers died on the job in the United States. This represents a sharp increase over 2015, when 4,836 people died as a result of injuries sustained in workplace accidents. For 2016, 3.6 per 100,000 workers died from injuries sustained while on the job in the United States. In Minnesota, over the same period, 92 workers lost their lives in workplace accidents - or 3.4 per 100,000 workers.
There were close to 100 workplace fatalities in Minnesota in 2016, the most recent year with complete statistics. In reviewing the data, fatalities and serious injuries occur across industries and incident types. While the modern workplace is much safer than a century ago, there will always be obstacles and errors that lead to issues.
Humans -- and all animals -- have internal clocks that regular behavior. Known as circadian rhythm, it's an often-studied part of our biology that affects how the human body responds to conditions. Behavior is different based on conditions like light and temperature.
It is common sense that, in Minnesota as elsewhere, some types of jobs are more dangerous than others. Whether due to an unsafe working environment, faulty equipment, or simply unfortunate circumstances, workplace accidents usually happen suddenly and without warning: A person is just doing their job one minute and in the next, their life has changed forever.