Hawaii reports surge in work-related fatalities in 2021

Seven people died this year in 23 “major” workplace accidents that occurred in Hawaii, the state Department of Labor & Industrial Relations reported Wednesday.

Many of the other nonfatal accidents in 2021 resulted in amputations, bone fractures, dislocated shoulders and joints, and electrical burns among other injuries, according to the DLIR.


In 2020, the state investigated approximately 28 accidents that included two fatalities.

“This surge in serious industrial accidents is a harsh reminder for employers and workers to think about safety when taking any work actions,” DLIR Director Anne Perreira-Eustaquio said in a statement. “We are hopeful that by employers and workers keeping safety and health at the top of mind that the number of fatalities and serious workplace injuries will decline in 2022.”

The following fatalities occurred in 2021:

Jan. 8 (Oahu): worker struck by company vehicle.

March 15 (Maui): aviation worker fell off a high truck platform.

July 19 (Oahu): truck mounted boom fell on a repair worker who died from injuries.

Aug. 13 (Oahu): pallet being unloaded from a container fell on a worker who died from injuries.

Aug. 30 (Maui): worker working on a public highway was struck by vehicle.

Dec. 8 (Hawaii): worker was struck on head by company equipment.

Dec. 13 (Kauai): worker died while operating machinery that rolled over.

The Hawaii Occupational Safety and Health Division investigates workplace injuries and illnesses to help ensure that employers are providing a safe work environment to their employees and are complying with safety and health laws.

HIOSH provides consultation services that help employers identify hazards and improve safety and health programs. All employers should examine conditions at their workplaces, safety policies, training and monitoring.

HIOSH’s Consultation & Training Branch offers employers hazard identification and assistance with occupational safety and health programs.

This free service can also qualify employers for a one-year exemption from routine inspections. Call (808) 586-9100 or email at dlir.hiosh.ct@hawaii.gov for more information or to set up an appointment.

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