Texas Workplace Deaths Rise Amid National Drop

Texas – The Labor Department says the number of workers who died on the job in Texas last year rose 3.6 percent.

A Bureau of Labor Statistics report released Thursday shows the state had 480 workplace deaths in 2009, that's 17 more than the previous year.

More than half, 256, died in transportation incidents or as a result of assaults and violent acts, the report shows.

The report is based on preliminary numbers that could change once the final report is released next year.

Nationally, the number of workers who died on the job fell by 17 percent last year to the lowest level in nearly two decades. High unemployment and layoffs in more dangerous industries like construction played a major role in the decrease, the agency said.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.