NIOSH Fatal Occupational Injury Cost Fact Sheet: Agriculture, Forestry, and Fishing

September 2006
DHHS (NIOSH) Publication Number 2006-151

NIOSH Fatal Occupational Injury Cost Fact Sheet: Agriculture, Forestry, and Fishing

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

Number, rate, and costs of fatal occupational injuries in the U.S. agriculture, forestry, and fishing industry
Costs (2003 dollars)
Characteristic Number of fatalities Fatality rate(per 100,000 workers) Total (millions) Mean(thousands) Median(thousands)
All incidents 8726 24.0 $4564 $530 $608
Male 8458 30.9 4407 528 605
Female 268 3.0 157 590 669
Race of decedent:
White 7763 22.8 3982 520 588
Black 381 27.5 214 562 625
Other* 582 62.4 369 634 678
Age of decedent:
16–19 257 9.8 154 598 565
20–24 552 15.8 394 714 664
25–34 1290 16.3 1061 822 727
35–44 1580 18.6 1334 844 732
45–54 1400 22.9 981 700 630
55–64 1425 32.1 513 360 338
65+ 2222 65.9 128 61 55
Occupation group:
Managerial and
professional specialty
119 5.5 149 1261 1388
Technical, sales, and
administrative support
186 8.0 267 1435 1605
Service 48 24.4 37 791 747
Farming, forestry, and
7936 26.1 3774 482 582
Precision production,
craft, and repair
61 13.5 53 870 964
Operators, fabricators,
and laborers
358 42.1 268 753 805
Event or exposure:
Contact with objects and
2023 5.6 982 492 574
Falls 656 1.8 346 532 608
Bodily reaction and
7 0.0 4 643 641
Exposure to harmful
substances or
870 2.4 564 649 680
4426 12.2 2281 523 582
Fires and explosions 129 0.4 62 500 525
Assaults and violent acts 601 1.7 319 538 623

*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

Mathematical Representation of Indirect Costs
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)external icon. 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 Surveyexternal icon. Wage data are based on the occupation of the decedent and the year of death adjusted by Gross Domestic Product (GDP) Deflatorexternal icon 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 Commerceexternal icon. 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 Dataexternal icon 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)external icon

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

Employment estimates for rate calculations: BLS Current Population Surveyexternal icon.

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

Classification Systems
Industry: 1987 Standard Industrial Classification System (SIC)external icon
Occupation: 1990 Bureau of Census Occupational Classification System (BOC)external icon
Event: 1992 BLS Occupational Injury and Illness Classification System (OIICS)external icon
Page last reviewed: June 6, 2014