SC: Worker deaths lowest in 17 years

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) – Workplaces in South Carolina were safer during 2009 with 73 fatal work injuries recorded, the smallest number tallied since record-keeping began in 1992.

A report by the South Carolina Department of Labor Licensing and Regulation said Thursday that 87 worker deaths were recorded in 2008.

The agency says biggest decline came in the transportation and material moving occupations, where fatal incidents declined 36 percent. There were 28 deaths in those areas in 2008 and 18 in 2009.

The state numbers are part of a national report from the U.S. Labor Department, which said high unemployment and layoffs in more dangerous industries played a major role in a 17 percent national decrease in deaths.

South Carolina’s jobless rate dropped to 10.7 percent in June, the seventh-worst jobless rate in the nation.
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