Last year saw a sharp decline in on-the-job injuries in the United States, mainly because there were fewer jobs.

Workplace fatalities due to injuries plunged 17% to 4,340 in 2009, The Wall Street Journal reported. That's the lowest since records began 18 years ago.

The economy lost 4.7 million jobs last year.

The construction industry registered 816 deaths in 2009, more than any other industry. That's a drop from 2008's figure of 975. Still, the fatality rate of 9.7 deaths per 100,000 workers was unchanged.

Overall, there were 3.3 fatal work injuries per 100,000 full-time equivalent workers in 2009, compared with 3.7 in 2008. The drop is partly because job losses were concentrated in more dangerous industries like construction.

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