More risky business

Here are some data to put deep meaning into the phrase “working yourself to death.” The AFL-CIO’s 15th edition of “Death on the Job: The Toll of Neglect,” issued in April, includes a state-by-state listing of the number of folks who died on the job. Using information from the U.S. Department of Labor, the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries, they put together a chart that tracks deaths in the workplace from 1992 through 2004. California’s an undisputed No. 1 for the total number of workplace deaths since 1992, although Texas and Florida both had more deaths last year, and the Golden State has had a steady downward trend in the numbers each year.

States with the lowest on-the-job mortality rates? Rhode Island and Vermont, with seven each in 2004. Sure, you’d expect states with a larger population and a lot of heavy industry to have more workplace deaths, but there are some surprising places included in the top-10 list. What are they doing in Georgia and North Carolina that’s so risky?