Oregon OSHA Administrator Michael Wood

Oregon's Fatalities Rose 25 Percent Last Year

Saying he is pleased construction deaths did not continue to increase last year, Oregon OSHA Administrator Michael Wood announced Tuesday that 44 workers covered by Oregon's workers' compensation system had died on the job in 2008. Wood spoke at the 2009 Oregon Governor’s Occupational Safety and Health Conference in Salem.

Eight of the 2008 fatalities occurred in a firefighting helicopter crash in Northern California. Those deaths meant 15 workers in agriculture, forestry, and fishing died in 2008, making this the hardest-hit sector in the state during the year. Second highest was six deaths in truck transportation. Twelve of the 44 deaths (27 percent) involved motor vehicle crashes. There were 35 fatalities among Oregon workers covered by the state comp system job in 2007.

"I am pleased to see the upward trend in construction deaths didn't continue,” he said, according to a release posted by Oregon's Department of Consumer & Business Services. "But five deaths are still too many, and I know we can do more to reduce those risks."

The lowest fatality total in a single year was 31 in 2004. DCBS said the average during the 1990s was 55 deaths, and the average in the 1980s was 81 deaths.

The state's total number of 2008 deaths caused by workplace injuries, whether or not the victim was covered by the state comp system, will be published in the BLS Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI) report in fall 2009.

Product Showcase

  • The MGC Simple Plus

    The MGC Simple Plus is a simple-to-use, portable multi gas detector that runs continuously for three years without being recharged or routinely calibrated after its initial charge and calibration during manufacturing. The detector reliably tests a worksite’s atmosphere for hydrogen sulfide, carbon monoxide, oxygen and combustible gases (LEL). Its durability enables the detector to withstand the harshest treatment and environments, hence earning it an IP 68 rating. The MGC Simple Plus is also compatible with a variety of accessories, such as the GCT External Pump. Visit gascliptech.com for more information. 3

  • Safety Knives

    The Safety Knife Company has developed a quality range of safety knives for all industries. Designed so that fingers cannot get to the blades, these knives will safely cut through cardboard, tape, strapping, shrink or plastic wrap or a variety of other packing materials. Because these knives have no exposed blades and only cut cardboard deep, they will not only protect employees against lacerations but they will also save product. The Metal Detectable versions have revolutionary metal detectable polypropylene knife bodies specifically for the food and pharmaceutical industries. This material can be detected and rejected by typical detection machines and is X-ray visible. 3

  • AirChek Connect Sampling Pump

    Stay connected to your sampling with the SKC AirChek® Connect Sampling Pump! With its Bluetooth connection to PC and mobile devices, you can monitor AirChek Connect pump operation without disrupting workflow. SKC designed AirChek Connect specifically for all OEHS professionals to ensure accurate, reliable flows from 5 to 5000 ml/min and extreme ease of use. AirChek Connect offers easy touch screen operation and flexibility. It is quality built to serve you and the workers you protect. Ask about special pricing and a demo at AIHA Connect Booth 1003. 3

Featured