Falls from elevations occur in all industries, in all occupations, and in myriad work settings - from the ironworker connecting steel columns 200 ft in the air, to the stock clerk retrieving goods from a shelf using a 4-ft step ladder, to the laborer washing windows from a suspended scaffold 60 ft from the ground. Each year, falls from elevations cause serious injuries and deaths to workers of all ages and races. Falls, which were identified as the fourth leading cause of occupational injury fatalities in the United States between 1980 and 1989 by the National Traumatic Occupational Fatalities (NTOF) surveillance system of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), accounted for 10% of all occupational injury deaths. NTOF data also showed that one-half of these deaths occurred in the construction industry, 12% in manufacturing and 9% in the service industry. The following analysis presents NTOF data from 1980 through 1991 for fatal falls from elevations identified by external cause of death codes (E-codes) E88a-E884 and E888 of the International Classification of Diseases (lCD-9) Ninth Revision. Cases were classified by major industry division according to the 1987 Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) system and by occupation division according to the 1980 Bureau of the Census classification scheme. Average annual employment data used to calculate fatality rates by industry division were obtained from the Current Population Survey, a monthly household survey conducted for the Bureau of Labor Statistics by the Bureau of the Census.