Nearly one in four workers who died on the job last year in the Philadelphia area was a homicide victim, a Labor Department report shows.

That makes the Philadelphia region proportionately the most dangerous in the nation for workplace homicides. Of the 89 workers who died on the job, 22 of them were slain. By contrast, in the New York, North Jersey area, 28 homicide victims - one in seven - were among the 198 who lost their lives at work.

Also, the total number of fatalities on the job in the Philadelphia area increased 17 percent from 76 in 2005.

In Chicago, the only other city to top Philadelphia in the number of homicides on the job, 25 workers were killed, out of 138 deaths.

Across the nation, the most common way to die on the job was to get in a highway accident. But in metropolitan areas, that type of fatality was eclipsed by the likelihood of falling on a construction site.

Of the 89 who died on the job in the Philadelphia region last year, 20 fell to their deaths and 20 others died in transportation accidents. Thirteen came in contact with objects and equipment, with eight struck by an object and five caught in equipment.

Other causes of death included fires and exposure to harmful substances and environments.

Contact staff writer Jane M. Von Bergen at 215-854-2769 or jvonbergen@phillynews.com.