More people died in work-related accidents in 2015 than in any year since 2006, according to new data released this week by the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry.

As in years past, the bulk of the 74 deaths were in agriculture, construction and transportation industries. The majority (60) were men; the remaining 14 were women. That was the highest number of women dying on the job since the government started tracking these deaths in 1992.

Workers age 55 and older accounted for about half of the deaths.  And nearly half were self-employed, which is significantly higher than in years past.

All of this data comes from the annual Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries, conducted by the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Although the number of deaths increased, the rate per 100,000 workers remains relatively low compared with years past, at 2.7 deaths, and is below the national rate of 3.4.

The natural resources and mining industry, which includes agriculture, recorded the highest number of worker fatalities, with 24. Almost all were farm-related. The injury rate in this sector is 16.9 deaths per 100,000 full-time equivalent workers. Construction, with nine deaths, had a fatal injury rate of 5 per 100,000.

The majority of deaths in 2015, and years past, were transportation incidents (including car accidents), with 12 of the 31 incidents occuring in the agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting sector. Seventeen people died last year after contact with an object or equipment, most often from being struck. 

More information and data for Minnesota is available on the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry website. National data is available from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Data Drop is a weekly feature that uses data analysis and visualizations to explain, surprise, inform and entertain readers on topics relevant to Minnesotans. Do you have an idea you'd like us to explore? Contact MaryJo Webster