Salem, OR – The Workers’ Compensation Division of the Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services recently released its 2021 Oregon Compensable Fatality Characteristics brochure, which includes information on the event of injury, source of injury, occupation, industry, tenure and other claimant characteristics.
The Workers’ Compensation Division received notification of 44 compensable fatalities in 2021, 11 more workplace fatal accidents than during 2020, and approximately 10 higher than the 10-year average of 33.5 fatalities. The number of compensable fatalities in 2021 is the highest since 2008, when 46 notifications were received for workers who perished on the job.
Key findings included:
- Of the 44 compensable fatalities in 2021, eight were the result of infection with the COVID-19 virus. Consequently, COVID infection accounted for 80 percent of all compensable fatalities resulting from exposure to harmful substances, and 50 percent of compensable fatalities with people, plants, animals, or minerals as a source. The previous year, there was only one compensable fatality that was the result of COVID infection. Because of this, WCD has separated instances of COVID from the “Exposure to Harmful Substances” event category and the “Persons, plants, animals, and minerals” source category, which is where viral infection would normally be classified.
- The average age of workers with fatal claims accepted during 2021 was 47 years, which is two years higher than the average age from the previous year (the average age of workers with fatal claims from 2020 was 45). The average age from 2012 to 2021 was approximately 47 years of age. The previous 10-year average from 2002 to 2011 was about 43 years of age.
- The oldest worker with a fatal claim was a 77-year old landscaper who was struck by a falling tree branch. The youngest worker was a 22-year-old pipefitter whose pickup truck ran off the roadway.
Read the full report brochure: OR WCD 2021 Oregon Compensable Fatality Characteristics (PDF)
Source: OR DCBS