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North Dakota is the Most Deadliest State to Work in

Update Date: May 09, 2014 11:03 AM EDT

A new report conducted by the AFL-CIO labor federation reported that in 2012, the state that had the highest number of work casualties was North Dakota. Overall, more than 4,600 American workers died during a job while an estimated 50,000 workers got some kind of disease caused by their occupation.

"Over the years, clearly the United States has made progress in protecting workers," said Peg Seminario, director of safety and health at the AFL-CIO, reported by HuffPost. "But today the numbers of workers being killed and injured is still too high and unacceptable. Over the last several years, the rate for injuries and illnesses has essentially flatlined."

For this report, the researchers examined data on all deaths and injuries that occurred at the workplace. The information came from the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics. The researchers found that even though the rates of workplace deaths and injuries have decreased over the years, the declines have significantly slowed down in recent years. In terms of race, the report found that Latino workers still have higher rates of death when compared to white workers. The researchers believe that this discrepancy could be due to poor and weak work protections for undocumented employees.

When the researchers looked at death and injury rates in each state, they found that North Dakota had the highest rate with 17.7 deaths per 100,00 workers. Wyoming took second place on the list with a rate of 12.2 deaths per 100,000 workers followed by Alaska, which had a rate of 8.9 deaths per 100,00o workers. The country's rate is at 3.4 deaths per 100,000 workers.

"North Dakota really stood out as a state that's deadly and dangerous for workers," Seminario said. "Workers who work in oil and gas extraction are at very, very high risk."

He added, according to CBS News, "A particular focus is needed on the oil and gas industry. With that industry growing and expanding, we've seen an expansion of fatalities not just in North Dakota, but in other states. It needs much more attention by employers, OSHA [Occupational Safety and Health Act], and other state and federal agencies."

The researchers reported that more can be done to reduce death and injury rates that occur during work. The annual report, Death on the Job, can be found here.

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