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Minnesota workplace deaths increased in 2017

Workplace injuries killed 101 Minnesotans in 2017, the Department of Labor and Industry reported Tuesday, marking the third year in a row that workplace deaths were on the rise.

There were 74 fatal work injuries in 2015 and 92 in 2016, according to the department.

Nearly half of last year's deaths were transportation-involved, and more than half involved workers aged 55 and older. All but 12 of the fatally injured workers were men.

Deaths in the retail sector and those due to violence from persons or animals increased, according to the department. Construction fatalities decreased from 15 in 2016 to 11 in 2017.

While the Northland has largely escaped the trend, the Minnesota Occupational Safety and Health Administration investigated a July 2017 death in Ely caused by a fall after a ladder slipped.

One regional 2018 workplace death is still being investigated by Minnesota OSHA:

• A worker preparing to repair a power line was found lying on the ground in Orr in June.