NIOSH Fatal Occupational Injury Cost Fact Sheet: Manufacturing

September 2006
DHHS (NIOSH) Publication Number 2006-154

NIOSH Fatal Occupational Injury Cost Fact Sheet: Manufacturing

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

Number, rate, and costs of fatal occupational injuries in the U.S. manufacturing industry by selected characteristics
Costs (2003 dollars)
Characteristic Number of fatalities Fatality rate(per 100,000 workers) Total (millions) Mean(thousands) Median(thousands)
All incidents 7705 3.5 $6361 $829 $825
Male 7269 4.9 6000 829 822
Female 436 0.6 361 830 850
Race of decedent:
White 6384 3.4 5347 841 834
Black 946 4.2 707 751 785
Other* 375 3.5 307 819 780
Age of decedent:
16–19 168 3.8 118 701 674
20–24 547 3.1 458 838 807
25–34 1606 2.8 1603 1000 939
35–44 2087 3.1 2161 1038 975
45–54 1738 3.7 1456 839 790
55–64 1173 5.3 536 459 433
65+ 386 10.9 30 81 64
Occupation group:
Managerial and
professional specialty
729 1.4 893 1233 1375
Technical, sales, and
administrative support
540 1.5 516 963 962
Service 132 4.3 74 571 660
Farming, forestry, and
1175 122.4 706 602 677
Precision production,
craft, and repair
1493 3.6 1393 939 1016
Operators, fabricators,
and laborers
3599 4.2 2755 767 812
Event or exposure:
Contact with objects and
2879 1.3 2152 750 775
Falls 658 0.3 492 752 774
Bodily reaction and
41 0.0 34 830 860
Exposure to harmful
substances or
725 0.3 646 896 907
2274 1.0 1982 875 860
Fires and explosions 489 0.2 440 900 891
Assaults and violent acts 622 0.3 605 977 936

*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