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September 2006
DHHS (NIOSH) Publication Number 2006-156

NIOSH Fatal Occupational Injury Cost Fact Sheet: Wholesale Trade

Number, rate, and costs of fatal occupational injuries in the U.S. wholesale trade industry by selected characteristics, 1992–2002

  Costs (2003 dollars)
Characteristic Number of fatalities Fatality rate(per 100,000 workers) Total (millions) Mean(thousands) Median(thousands)
All incidents 2638 4.8 $2169 $826 $855
Sex:
Male 2,501 6.5 2,048 822 853
Female 137 0.8 122 889 886
Race of decedent:
White 2,272 4.6 1,881 832 868
Black 208 5.6 159 764 824
Other* 158 7.2 130 821 814
Age of decedent:
16–19 51 4.0 36 711 688
20–24 208 4.5 183 881 846
25–34 534 3.6 557 1043 1007
35–44 660 4.1 695 1053 1006
45–54 559 5.2 489 875 849
55–64 399 7.3 192 481 466
65+ 227 13.7 17 81 65
Occupation group:
Managerial and
professional specialty
220 2.8 239 1092 1232
Technical, sales, and
administrative support
685 2.2 590 870 925
Service 32 5.9 18 569 653
Farming, forestry, and
fishing
56 8.8 31 552 638
Precision production,
craft, and repair
265 7.6 246 928 1013
Operators, fabricators,
and laborers
1365 11.9 1037 761 819
Event or exposure:
Contact with objects and
equipment
471 0.9 365 778 803
Falls 192 0.4 125 656 699
Bodily reaction and
exertion
7 0.0 6 907 894
Exposure to harmful
substances or
environments
142 0.3 128 900 913
Transportation
accidents
1407 2.6 1195 853 914
Fires and explosions 98 0.2 75 766 811
Assaults and violent acts 317 0.6 272 864 876

*This category includes all other races, such as American Indian and Asian, as well as unknown or missing races.

Numbers are not reported for “unknown” or “not classified” categories.

Fatal Occupational Injury Cost Model

Theoretical Basis of Cost Estimation

The cost to society of a workplace fatality was estimated using the cost-of-illness approach, which combines direct and indirect costs to yield an overall cost of an occupational fatal injury. For these calculations, only medical expenses were used to estimate the direct cost associated with the fatality. The indirect cost was derived by calculating the present value of future earnings summed from the year of death until the decedent would have reached age 67, accounting for the probability of survival were it not for the premature death. (For more information, see Biddle, E [2004]. Economic Cost of Fatal Occupational Injuries in the United States, 1980–1997. Contemporary Economic Policy 22(3):370–381.)

Mathematical Representation of Indirect Costs

PVF = ΣPy,s (y+1)[Ys, j(n) + Yhs(n)] (1+g)n–y/(1+r)n–y
where:

PVF = present discounted value of loss due to occupational fatal injury per person
Py,s (y+1) = probability that a person of race r, sex s, and age y will survive to age y+1
y = age of the person at death
s = sex of the person
n = age if the person had survived
Ys,j(n) = median annual earnings of an employed person of sex s, occupation j, and age n (includes benefits and life-cycle wage growth adjustment)
Yhs(n) = mean annual imputed value of home production of a person of sex s and age n
g = wage growth rate attributable to overall productivity
r = real discount rate (3%)

Data Sources

Fatality data: Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI). These data exclude military personnel, decedents with unknown age or sex, fatalities occurring in New York City, and fatalities from the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

Probability of survival: National Center for Health Statistics, Division of Vital Statistics.

Median annual earnings: BLS Current Population Survey. Wage data are based on the occupation of the decedent and the year of death adjusted by Gross Domestic Product (GDP) Deflator to base year of dollar. Life-cycle wage growth was calculated based on the rate of change in wages between age groups.

Benefits: U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Benefits data are based on the industry where the decedent was employed and the year of death adjusted by the GDP Deflator.

Mean annual home production: Expectancy Data that were derived by a time diary study sponsored by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and conducted by the University of Maryland.

Wage growth rate: Based on BLS Employment Cost Index (ECI)

Medical costs: National Council on Compensation Insurance. Costs are a 3-year average cost.

Employment estimates for rate calculations: BLS Current Population Survey.

Fatality Rate Calculations

Fatality rates were calculated by NIOSH and may differ from previously published BLS CFOI rates. Fatality rates were calculated as deaths per 100,000 workers. Fatality rates for sex, race, age group, and occupation were calculated using employment estimates by the individual characteristic within the specific industry sector. Employment estimates for the specific industry sector were used to generate rates for event.

 
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