Cincinnati, OH: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, DHHS (NIOSH) Publication No. 2011-130, 2011 Feb; :1-167
Researchers within the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) have a longstanding commitment to determining the circumstances and costs of fatal occupational injury, reflecting the national commitment to understanding the severity and gravity of these incidents. Additional efforts have been undertaken to establish methods and recommendations to reduce the toll on our country's workers. This document continues this commitment to understanding and enumerating the dimensions of this nation's loss from fatal occupational injury. Despite the importance of fatal occupational illness, this document is limited to the economic burden of fatal occupational injuries. Beginning in 1992, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) augmented their injury surveillance efforts with a national, systematic and comprehensive surveillance system to collect information on all fatal occupational injuries in the U.S. The joint State-Federal program, the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI), was designed to record, manage, and publish data from reporting systems in all 50 States and the District of Columbia on fatal occupational injuries. NIOSH researchers integrated data from the CFOI program into their continued research efforts, beginning with the initial reporting year, and have published a number of documents related to the NIOSH mission. In addition to reporting prevalence measures of fatal occupational injury, NIOSH researchers also developed measures to capture the economic costs from these incidents. These efforts reflected underlying concerns that the full measure of such loss must include the economic component of this loss. Such a measure not only captures an important additional component of the loss experience for the worker, employer, and encompassing social structure, but may also serves to direct limited resources toward the most effective prevention strategies. The cost-of-illness method, which sums direct and indirect lifetime costs, was used to calculate the mean, median, and total societal costs for the fatal occupational injuries reported through the CFOI program. Indirect costs are calculated for each incident by accounting for median annual compensation at the time of death, the probability of survival, household production, wage growth rate adjustments, and the real discount rate. These costs are then added to the direct lifetime cost of medical expenses to arrive at the societal cost of fatal injury. The addition of the value of household production costs to this model represents advancement in methodology over previous models, which simply accounts for loss of income from wages and presents a point of departure from previous studies. In summary, the current document provides detailed information on the extent of economic loss for premature occupational fatality for the years 1992 through 2002. These estimates are based on a well-known methodology in the field of direct and indirect cost estimation that was adapted by NIOSH [Rice 1965; Rice 1966; Miller et al.1995; Rice et al.1989; Leigh et al. 2000; Finkelstein et al. 2006]. The method is grounded in economic theory and has been reviewed by experts in the fields of economic costing and surveillance systems. Detailed information within this document includes the number of fatal occupational injuries and their total, mean, and median societal costs for each State and by worker and case characteristics.