WA FACE

Washington Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation

WA FACE

Washington is one of seven states that receives funding from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) to track fatal work-related traumatic injuries. WA FACE’s goal is to prevent work-related fatal injuries through:

Tracking

WA FACE collects basic information on all work-related traumatic fatalities in the state, including worker and employer demographics, cause of injury and a short description of the incident. This information comes from the Department of Labor & Industries Division of Occupational Safety and Health (DOSH), L&I’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) group, the Washington State Department of Health, public safety officials, newspapers, medical examiners and coroners and other sources.

Investigations

WA FACE staff conduct in-depth site investigations of some fatalities that occur in Washington State. Investigations are voluntary for employers and focus on finding root causes.

Prevention

Once an investigation is complete, WA FACE publishes a report that includes a short summary, details of contributing events and factors, the cause of death, and recommendations for prevention and how to protect workers from similar hazards.

WA FACE also publishes hazard alerts, data summaries, and shorter form narratives and slideshows about fatalities in the construction, agriculture, and logging industries that can be used in safety meetings and toolbox talks.

Sign up to receive WA FACE publications by email:

Fatality and Injury Narratives

WA FACE fatality and injury narratives and slideshows describe real incidents and give recommendations and requirements for prevention.

WA FACE publications are free to use.

Sign up to receive WA FACE narratives by email: Agriculture      Construction

Narratives and Slideshows

Construction

Laborer Partially Buried when Trench Wall Collapses     Slideshow

Framer Struck by Falling Wall Section     Slideshow

Carpenter Falls from Ladder-Supported Extension Plank

Laborer Falls 24 Feet from Roof Deck      Slideshow

Roofer Falls 20 Feet through Rotten Roof      Slideshow

Roofer Falls 30 Feet through Skylight      Slideshow

Framer Setting Roof Trusses Falls 20 Feet      Slideshow

Roofing Foreman Falls 19 Feet from Extension Ladder      Slideshow

Spotter Pinned between Excavator Bucket and Trench Box      Slideshow

Ironworker Falls 80 Feet through Bent Plate Gap       Slideshow

Roofer Falls 18 Feet from Wet House Roof      Slideshow

Trabajador cae 18 pies de un techo mojado      Slideshow

Agriculture

Operator Dies When Orchard Tractor Rolls Down Embankment      Slideshow

Operator Crushed By Irrigation System Wheel      Slideshow

Vineyard Laborer Falls from Grape Harvester      Slideshow

Operator Crushed When Tractor and Sprayer Roll Over      Slideshow

Orchard Manager Dies When ATV Crashes into Apple Bin      Slideshow

Laborer Burned Cutting 55-Gallon Drum when Leftover Fuel Explodes      Slideshow

Trucking

Truck Driver Crushed by Hay Bales     Slideshow

Truck Driver Crushed Between Two Trailers      Slideshow

Services

Service Technicians Receive Electrical Burns When Electricity Arcs from Power Line to Boom Lift      Slideshow 

Window Cleaner Falls 50 Feet      Slideshow

Fatality Investigation Reports

WA FACE Fatality Investigation Reports describe root-cause based investigations of fatal incidents.

Sign up to receive WA FACE Fatality Investigation Reports by email

Supervisor at Used Clothing Processing Facility and Warehouse Dies When Struck by Falling Clothing Bales      Summary

A Boat Maintenance Crew Supervisor Dies of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning While Using a Gasoline-Powered Pressure Washer      Summary

Maintenance Mechanic Dies After Being Burned by Hot Boric Acid Solution While Removing Pump      Summary

Forklift Operator Dies When Crushed between Forklift Overhead Guard and Mast      Summary

A 19-Year-Old Landscape Laborer Dies When Entangled in Auger after Entering the Hopper of a Bark Blower Truck      Summary

Orchard Laborer Dies When Run Over By Rotary Mower After Falling From Tractor      Summary

Bark Company Owner Dies After Being Crushed By Ecology Block Wall      Summary

Forest Crew Worker Electrocuted While Trying to Cut Tree Fallen on High-Voltage Power Line      Summary

Coffee Stand Owner Dies When Leak from Propane Cylinder Causes a Fire      Summary

Fertilizer Company Worker Crushed to Death by Falling Concrete Ecology Block      Summary

Truck Driver Dies after Being Struck by Semi-Trailer Truck in Trailer Lot of Customer Yard

Orchard Laborer Dies after Being Struck and Run Over by Dump Trailer

Log Truck Driver Dies When Struck by Logs Being Loaded Onto Trailer

Two Propane Gas Supplier Workers Electrocuted when Boom Truck Crane’s Boom Contacts 7,200 Volt Overhead Power Line

Operator Dies after Excavator Tips Over Bridge and Falls into River Below

Timber Harvester Operator Killed Following a Chain Shot Incident      Summary

Orchard Tractor Operator Dies when Run Over by Trailer-Mounted Water Tank Towed by Tractor      Summary

Truck Driver Dies after being Run Over by Propane Transport Rolling Backward at Bulk Plant      Summary

Orchard Laborer Dies when Crushed Between a Motor Grader and Semi-Truck in Washington State      Summary

Operator Dies after Being Caught between Bulldozer's Track and Fender      Summary

Machinist Dies After Being Struck by Rotating Steel Bar Stock in Lathe in Washington State      Summary

Deck Engineer on Barge Dies When Struck by Crane Counterweight in Washington State       Summary

Carpet Installer Dies after Falling 32 Feet at a Commercial Jobsite       Summary

Crane Operator Dies after Falling From Crane Turntable Deck in Washington State      Summary

A Commercial Cleaning Company Worker Dies of Carbon Monoxide (CO) Poisoning at a Warehouse in Washington State

Assembler / Fabricator Dies When Struck by “L” Rack Loaded with Glass Mirrors in Washington State

A 16-Year-Old Worker Dies When Struck by a Portable Gantry Crane used as an Engine Hoist

Maintenance Worker Electrocuted While Attempting to Change a Light Bulb in Washington State

Two Teen Workers Asphyxiate in an Agricultural Silo

Temporary Construction Worker Dies After Falling from a Scaffold Plank in Washington State

Maintenance Worker Killed When Struck by a Vehicle Along a Highway in Washington State

Flagger Fatally Injured When Struck by a Car at a Highway Work Zone in Washington State

Utility Construction Supervisor Killed When Struck by a Pickup Truck at a Work Zone in Washington State

Temporary Worker Killed when Caught in Machinery at a Bottling Plant in Washington State

City Worker Killed When Struck by a Dump Truck in Washington State

Lineman Killed After Being Struck by a Car in Washington State

Logger Killed by Log

Flagger Killed When Struck by Dump Truck

A Fifteen Year-old Worker was Killed After he Fell From the Roof of a Building While Helping Wash its Windows

A Sixteen Year-old Farm Worker was Killed While Driving a Tractor Pulling a Hay Baler on a Public Roadway

Cedar Salvage Logger Killed When Struck by Falling Cedar Blocks

Construction Contractor Killed by Fall From Ladder

Night Foreman Killed After Falling From a Hay De-Stacker

Tree Faller Struck by Tree

Sawmill Unscrambler Operator

Hazard Alerts and Data Summaries 2019 Work-Related Fatalities Report

Washington State Work-Related Fatalities Report 2019

Who is Included in this report?

This report includes all people who were working in Washington State, or in the waters or airspace within or off of the state, and died due to a work-related incident that occurred in 2019. Workers based in other states that die from fatal injury incidents in Washington are included.

Types of Incidents Included:

Acute trauma fatalities including but not limited to:

  • Falls
  • Homicides
  • Suicides
  • Motor vehicle incidents
  • Machinery incidents
  • Chemical exposures
  • Falls

Types of Incidents Not Included:

  • Fatalities that occurred in the calendar year due to an incident from a previous year.
  • Fatalities due to:
    • Natural cause (heart attacks, aneurysms, etc.), unless root cause is determined to be the result of a work injury.
    • Diseases from long-term exposure (disease examples include asbestosis and silicosis).

Download the full 2019 Washington State Work-Related Fatalities Report  

Contents

Executive Summary

Incidents

      Motor Vehicle Incidents

      Falls

      Homicide and Suicide

Counties

Construction — NAICS 23

Transportation and Warehousing  NAICS 48-49

Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing & Hunting  NAICS 11

Motor Vehicle Operators  SOC 2000 53-3000

Executive Summary

The goal of the Washington State FACE program is to prevent worker fatalities through surveillance, fatal incident investigations, and prevention activities. This report includes information on all workers who died in Washington State as the result of traumatic injuries in 2019. We hope that this report is used by employers, safety professionals, and anyone who can help keep workers safe.

Overview

  • Sixty-three workers died in 2019, 14 fewer than the 77 who died in 2018.
  • Fifty-two were men and 11 were women.
  • 44% of all workers who died were age 50 or older.

Industry and occupation

  • By industry, the three sectors with the highest number of worker deaths were Construction; Transportation and Warehousing; and Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing, and Hunting.
  • By occupation, the highest number of worker deaths were among Heavy and Tractor-Trailer Truck Drivers. There were 11, five more than in 2018.

Type of incident

  • Workers died most commonly in motor vehicle incidents. The second most common type of incident was homicide. For both types of incidents, the number of worker deaths was higher than the 10-year annual average.
  • Among the 12 workers who died from homicide, the most common industries were convenience and grocery stores. Eight of the 12 incidents involved firearms.
  • Half of all workers who died from homicide were women.
  • More women have died from homicide than any other type of incident in the last decade.
  • Seven workers died from falls. This was nine fewer than in 2018 and six fewer than the 10-year annual average. Four were Construction workers.

Washington State Work-Related Fatalities and Fatality Rates* — All Industries, 2010–2019

Year Number of Fatalities Fatality Rate
2010 89 3.4
2011 53 1.9
2012 66 2.2
2013 54 1.7
2014 77 2.7
2015 64 2.1
2016 67 2.4
2017 78 2.5
2018 77 2.4
2019 63

* Number of Fatalities source: WA FACE data. Fatality Rate per 100,000 FTE age 16 years or older, no volunteers or resident military, source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries. 1 FTE = 2000 hours worked in a year.

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Incidents

  • Motor vehicle incidents were the leading cause of work-related deaths again in 2019. The 23 incidents accounted for 37% of deaths, up from 25% in 2018.
  • Homicide was the cause of 12 worker deaths (19%), up from 9 (12%) in 2018.
  • Eight workers died after being struck by objects.
  • Seven workers died from falls. This was nine fewer than in 2018 and six fewer than the 10-year annual average.
  • Five worker deaths were due to suicide.

Motor Vehicle Incidents

Between 2010 and 2019, 179 workers died on the job in motor vehicle incidents.

In 2019, 23 workers from nine different industry sectors died in motor vehicle incidents.

  • 43% of fatalities were in the Transportation and Warehousing Industry.
  • Eight of the 23 workers were on foot.
  • 52% of workers who died in motor vehicle incidents were age 50 or older (12).

Falls

Between 2010 and 2019, 132 workers died from falls at work.

In 2019, seven workers died from falls. Three died from falls on the same level.

  • 43% of workers who died from falls were age 50 or older (3).

Homicide and Suicide

Between 2010 and 2019, 58 workers died from homicide and 40 died by suicide.

  • 34% of women died from homicide (22). This is more than any other incident type. Eight women were killed while working retail.
  • 6% of men died from homicide (36) in the same period. Six men were killed serving as law enforcement officers.

In 2019, homicides increased by 33% to the highest number in ten years, while suicides decreased by 50% compared to 2018. All who died by suicide were men.

Among the 12 homicides:

  • Six were women and six were men. Eight were killed with firearms.
  • Seven were workers age 50 years and older. Five of the seven were women and two were men.
  • Three women and one man were killed in convenience or grocery store robberies.
  • Nine involved criminal intent, two involved personal relationships, and one was a worker-to-worker homicide.

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Counties

Worker deaths occurred in 24 Washington counties in 2019.

  • King County saw the highest number of deaths (10), five fewer than in 2018.
  • Pierce County experienced nine fatalities, three fewer than 2018. Four were homicides and two were suicides; 67% of the county’s deaths.
  • There were six deaths in Snohomish County in 2019, the same number as in 2018.
  • There were two worker deaths in Clark County in 2019, two fewer than in 2018.

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Construction — NAICS 23   

Between 2010 and 2019, 102 workers died in the Construction industry sector. Nearly half (49) died in falls.

In 2019, twelve Construction workers died in fatal incidents.

  • This was one more than the number of workers who died in 2018.
  • All 12 were men.
  • 75% of workers were under age 50 (9). The youngest worker was backed over by a dump truck and the oldest fell from a roof.
  • Four workers died in falls. Two fell from roofs, one fell through a roof opening, and one died when their suspended work platform fell.
  • Two ironworkers died when the tower crane they were disassembling collapsed.
  • All workers were wage and salary employees.
  • The homicide involved a personal relationship.

Transportation and Warehousing — NAICS 48-49

Between 2010 and 2019, 105 workers died in the Transportation and Warehousing industry sector.

In 2019, eleven Transportation and Warehousing workers died in fatal incidents.

  • This was two fewer fatalities than in 2018.
  • All 11 were men.
  • Four Heavy and Tractor-Trailer Truck Drivers were outside of their trucks when killed. Two of them were run over by their own vehicles.
  • 90% of worker deaths were due to motor vehicle incidents (10).
  • 54% of workers were age 50 or over (6).
  • Two were over age 65.
  • Four workers were self-employed.
  • Six were WA residents, five were from other states.

Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing & Hunting — NAICS 11

Between 2010 and 2019, 128 workers died in the Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing and Hunting industry sector.

In 2019, ten Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing and Hunting workers died in fatal incidents.

  • Nine men and one woman died.
  • 90% of workers were under age 50 (9).
  • Two were young workers, less than 24 years old.
  • Four workers died in motor vehicle incidents. Three were farmworkers.
  • Two loggers died. One was struck by a log carriage and one died when the vehicle he was driving rolled over on a logging road.
  • All workers were wage and salary employees.
  • The homicide involved a worker-to-worker relationship.

Motor Vehicle Operators — SOC 2000 53-3000

Between 2010 and 2019, 111 Motor Vehicle Operators have died on the job.

Some of the jobs included in this group are:
Truck Drivers
Bus Drivers
Taxi Drivers and Chauffeurs
Driver/Sales Workers

In 2019, thirteen Motor Vehicle Operators died in fatal incidents.

  • Eleven Heavy and Tractor-Trailer Truck Drivers from eight different industries were killed.
  • 54% of operators died outside of their vehicles (6).
  • 69% of operators were age 50 or over (9). 31% were age 65 or over (4).
  • All operators were men.
  • The homicide involved a worker-to-worker relationship.
  • All worked for private companies. Ten were wage and salary and three were self-employed.

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