MT – Workplace Injuries Rise Post Pandemic

On December 19, 2022, the Montana Department of Labor & Industry announced the number of workplace deaths in Montana returned to the pre-pandemic mean. Montana experienced 40 fatal work-related injuries in 2021, according to the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI) program. In 2020, in the midst of the pandemic when many Montanans were working from home, there were 29 workplace fatalities in Montana.

The fatality census, conducted throughout the nation, is part of a U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics safety and health statistics program. These fatality statistics are used to fulfill a commitment to increasing safety in the workplace.

“As more Montanans returned to work in 2021, the number of fatal occupational injuries fell in line with past years, said Employment Standards Division Administrator Eric Strauss. “In 2020, the number of fatalities was naturally lower, as more Montanans were working from home.”

Of the 40 fatalities reported, 36 were in Private industry and 4 were in Government.

Transportation incidents were the leading cause, or event, of fatal occupational injuries to Montana workers during 2021, accounting for 23, or more than half of the 40 fatalities. (Aircraft and train incidents, vehicle incidents, pedestrian vs vehicle, collisions between vehicles, and non-collision incidents such as jack-knife or overturn of vehicles could be considered a transportation event.)

Montana Highway Patrol reported 192 motor vehicle crash fatalities in 2021. Of these fatalities, 40 were work related, showing about 21 percent, or 1 in 5 crashes are work related.