This March 2020 photo shows workers from a Servpro disaster recovery team entering the Life Care Center nursing home in Kirkland to begin cleaning and disinfecting. The facility was at the center of the coronavirus outbreak in Washington. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File)

This March 2020 photo shows workers from a Servpro disaster recovery team entering the Life Care Center nursing home in Kirkland to begin cleaning and disinfecting. The facility was at the center of the coronavirus outbreak in Washington. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File)

COVID again leading cause of state’s work-related deaths

The dead include health care workers, corrections officers, mechanics, orchard workers and police officers.

Associated Press

OLYMPIA — Washington state officials said this week that COVID-19 was responsible for about one quarter of the 106 work-related deaths reported in Washington in 2021.

The numbers from the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries show coronavirus was the leading cause of work-related deaths in the state for the second year in a row, The Seattle Times reported.

In 2021, 26 people died after contracting the coronavirus while in a workplace, which increased from 24 people in 2020.

In 2021, there were also: 22 construction-related deaths; 16 transportation and warehousing-related deaths; 14 public safety-related deaths; 11 agriculture-related deaths; and 10 worker deaths from falls.

The number of total workplace deaths declined from 119 deaths in 2020.

The workers who died were health care workers, corrections officers, mechanics, orchard workers and police officers and ranged in age from 19 to 84, according to Labor & Industries.

“Even as we believe that the worst of the pandemic is behind us, we find ourselves looking back on another year where COVID was the leading cause of job-related deaths,” Labor & Industries director Joel Sacks said. “We all need to do everything in our power to ensure every worker goes home safe at the end of the day.”

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