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NIOSH Fatal Occupational Injury Cost Fact Sheet: Finance, Insurance, and Real Estate

September 2006
DHHS (NIOSH) Publication Number 2006-158

NIOSH Fatal Occupational Injury Cost Fact Sheet: Finance, Insurance, and Real Estate

Number, rate, and costs of fatal occupational injuries in the U.S. finance, insurance, and real estate 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 1097 1.2 $951 $876 $907
Male 838 2.2 711 857 853
Female 259 0.5 240 937 986
Race of decedent:
White 944 1.2 815 874 910
Black 90 1.0 78 863 842
Other* 63 1.6 58 926 944
Age of decedent:
20–24 43 0.5 42 971 858
25–34 179 0.7 215 1199 1201
35–44 246 1.0 297 1209 1192
45–54 287 1.5 288 1002 997
55–64 184 2.0 96 521 493
Occupation group:
Managerial and
professional specialty
394 1.3 394 1004 1113
Technical, sales, and
administrative support
414 0.7 379 932 985
Service 129 4.0 71 558 667
Farming, forestry, and
46 7.6 21 466 571
Precision production,
craft, and repair
61 3.2 51 847 967
Operators, fabricators,
and laborers
46 8.5 30 663 764
Event or exposure:
Contact with objects and
49 0.1 39 790 740
Falls 123 0.1 69 573 629
Bodily reaction and
Exposure to harmful
substances or
80 0.1 65 807 811
403 0.4 381 962 1015
Fires and explosions
Assaults and violent acts 427 0.5 388 913 974

NOTE: Dashes indicate data that do not meet publication criteria.

*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

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.

Classification Systems

Industry: 1987 Standard Industrial Classification System (SIC)
Occupation: 1990 Bureau of Census Occupational Classification System (BOC)
Event: 1992 BLS Occupational Injury and Illness Classification System (OIICS)