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The catch really is the deadliest job

A preliminary total of 4,547 fatal work injuries were recorded in the United States in 2010, about the same as the final count of 4,551 fatal work injuries in 2009, according to results from the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries program conducted by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The rate of fatal work injury for U.S. workers in 2010 was 3.5 per 100,000 full-time equivalent workers, the same as the final rate for 2009.

Private sector mining fatalities were up 74 percent in 2010, increasing from 99 cases in 2009 to 172 cases in 2010.

Fatal work injuries were sharply higher both in mining activities other than oil and gas (up 110 percent) and also in support activities for mining (up 71 percent).

Multiple-fatality incidents in this industry were a major factor in the increased fatality total in mining. The Upper Big Branch mining disaster claimed 29 workers, and 11 workers died in the Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion.

Fatal work injuries involving farming, fishing, and forestry workers increased by 9 percent in 2010. Fatalities involving agricultural workers, including farmworkers and laborers, rose from 127 in 2009 to 156 in 2010. Fatalities among logging workers also increased in 2010 from 36 in 2009 to 59 in 2010, but fatalities among fishers and related fishing workers declined.

The number of fatal workplace injuries among police officers increased by 40 percent, from 96 in 2009 to 134 in 2010.

By state, workplace fatalities totaled 104 in Washington last year, up from 76 in 2009. In Idaho, 33 workers died on the job in 2010, up from 27 the year before.