The Montana Department of Labor and Industry has released 2012 data on fatalities in the workplace.

"The occupation with the highest number of fatalities was management occupations, and they had nine," said Peggy Coggeshall, of the Research and Analysis Bureau. "The second largest was farming, forestry and fishing, they had eight [apiece]. The third was transportation and material moving, they had six. Construction and extraction had five. Personal care and services had one, and building grounds cleaning and maintenance had one."

Transportation accidents were the most common incident leading to a fatality on the job. 2012 saw improvements over 2011.

"The number of workplace deaths in 2012 dropped by 15 from the number in 2011," Coggeshall said. "That gives us a total of 34 work-related fatalities in calendar year 2012."

Of those who died on the job, 41 percent were between the ages of 45 and 54. The second highest percentage went to the age group of 55 to 64.

Coggeshall said it was difficult to pinpoint exactly which factors led to a decline in workplace fatalities.

Peggy Coggeshall: