The stereotype says Florida is a dangerous place to work. Among the hallmarks are weak unions, large numbers of black and Hispanic workers (who have higher death rates than white workers), and a concentration of low-wage jobs in dangerous sectors like construction, farming and transportation.
The statistics tell a different story: Florida’s rate of worker deaths — 3.1 fatalities per 100,000 workers in 2015 — ranks below most states and below the national average of 3.4, according to U.S. Labor Department data released Friday.
Fully 28 states were deadlier for workers. North Dakota was the worst, with 12.5 deaths per 100,000 workers. Rhode Island was the safest, with just 1.2 deaths per 100,000.
In all, 272 workers died on the job in Florida last year, up from 228 in 2014, according to federal stats.
Texas had the highest raw number of deaths, with 527.