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NIOSH Fatal Occupational Injury Cost Fact Sheet: Public Administration

September 2006
DHHS (NIOSH) Publication Number 2006-160

NIOSH Fatal Occupational Injury Cost Fact Sheet: Public Administration

Number, rate, and costs of fatal occupational injuries in the U.S. public administration 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 3592 5.5 $3855 $1075 $1158
Male 3209 8.9 3468 1083 1169
Female 383 1.3 388 1012 1068
Race of decedent:
White 3007 5.8 3268 1088 1165
Black 430 4.1 434 1016 1107
Other* 155 5.8 153 989 1050
Age of decedent:
16–19 45 8.6 40 879 902
20–24 217 7.3 243 1118 1134
25–34 978 6.3 1254 1282 1294
35–44 958 4.7 1231 1285 1304
45–54 813 4.7 848 1043 1040
55–64 416 6.2 228 548 534
65+ 165 10.6 13 79 66
Occupation group:
Managerial and
professional specialty
564 2.2 655 1168 1242
Technical, sales, and
administrative support
292 1.6 327 1120 1095
Service 2125 11.8 2419 1140 1225
Farming, forestry, and
65 19.8 32 500 565
Precision production,
craft, and repair
210 9.1 181 867 929
Operators, fabricators,
and laborers
321 25.8 227 710 752
Event or exposure:
Contact with objects and
163 0.3 145 897 850
Falls 163 0.3 133 816 872
Bodily reaction and
13 0.0 13 979 1024
Exposure to harmful
substances or
173 0.3 184 1072 1132
1815 2.8 1917 1059 1140
Fires and explosions 217 0.3 253 1164 1240
Assaults and violent acts 1045 1.6 1207 1155 1222

*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)