NIOSH Fatal Occupational Injury Cost Fact Sheet: Couriers and Messengers (NAICS 492)


March, 2012
DHHS (NIOSH) Publication Number 2012-133
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Air Transportation | Transit/Ground Transportation | Truck Transportation | TWU | Utilities | Warehousing/Storage | Water Transportation

Number, Rate, and Costs of Fatal Occupational Injuries in the U.S. Couriers and Messengers Industry by Selected Characteristics, 2003–2006.

Costs (2006 Dollars)
Characteristic Number of Fatalities Fatality Rate (per 100,000 workers) Mean (thousands) Median (thousands) Total(millions)
All U.S. Industries 22,197 3.9 $960 $944 $21,316
All Transportation, Warehousing, and Utilities 3,704 12.9 944 974 3,496
All Couriers and Messengers 119 4.6 844 825 100
2003 21 3.4 776 754 16
2004 25 3.9 804 789 20
2005 33 5.1 832 884 27
2006 40 5.9 914 877 37
Male 108 5.3 822 809 89
Female 11 2.0 1,052 1,127 12
Age Group
16-24 6 1.4 802 791 1
25-34 26 4.0 1,115 1,069 29
35-44 25 3.3 1,044 971 26
45-54 36 6.7 803 786 29
55+ 26 11.6 445 463 12
White 93 4.7 840 821 78
Black 17 3.5 879 919 15
Other1 9 6.5 811 789 7
Not Hispanic 106 4.8 850 822 90
Hispanic 12 3.4 792 866 10
Selected SOC Occupation Group
Construction and Extraction
Installation, Maintenance, and Repair
Office and Administrative Support 20 1.9 687 779 14
Transportation and Material Moving 94 9.3 853 850 80
Selected Event or Exposure
02 Struck by object 5 0.2 875 804 4
41 Highway accident 89 3.4 817 844 73
43 Pedestrian, non-passenger struck by vehicle, mobile equipment 9 0.3 858 789 8
6* Assaults and violent acts 5 0.2 750 817 4
Selected Source of Injury
81 Highway vehicle, motorized 106 4.1 829 830 88

NOTE: Dashes indicate data that do not meet publication criteria.
Asterisks denote a summary level code not assigned to individual cases.

1This category includes all other races, such as American Indian and Asian, as well as unknown or missing races.

2Numbers are not reported for “unknown”, “not classified” or “not reported” 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 or Biddle, E [2009]. The Cost of Fatal Injuries to Civilian Workers in the US, 1992-2001and Biddle E and Keane P [2011]. The Economic Burden of Occupational Injuries to Civilian Workers in the United States, 1992-2002. 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.)

Mathematical Representation of Indirect Costs

formula for PVF = present discounted value of loss per person due to an individual occupational fatal injury


Variable Definition
PVF = present discounted value of loss per person due to an individual occupational fatal injury
Py,q,s (n) = probability that a person of age y, race q, and sex s will survive to age n
q = race of the individual
s = sex of the individual
n = age if the individual had survived
Ys, j(n) = median annual compensation of an employed person of sex s, specific occupation j, and age n (includes median annual earnings, benefits, and wage growth adjustments)
j = specific occupation of individual at death
formula for mean annual imputed value of household production (h) of a person of sex s and age n = mean annual imputed value of household production (h) of a person of sex s and age n
g = earnings growth rate attributable to overall productivity
y = age of the individual at death
r = real discount rate (3%)

Data Sources

Fatality data: Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI)External. This research was conducted with restricted access to Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data. These data exclude military personnel, decedents with unknown age or sex, and fatalities occurring in New York City. The views expressed here do not necessarily reflect the views of the BLS.

Probability of survival: National Center for Health Statistics, Division of Vital Statistics.

Median annual earnings: BLS Occupational Employment Statistics SurveyExternal. Wage data are based on the occupation of the decedent and the year and State of death adjusted by the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) DeflatorExternal to the base year of dollar. The wage growth adjustment, which is the rate of change in wages between age groups, was calculated by NIOSH using BLS Current Population Survey data.

Benefits: BLS Employer Cost for Employee BenefitsExternal. Benefits data are based on the year of death adjusted by the GDP Deflator.

Mean annual home production: Expectancy DataExternal. Data are derived through a time diary study sponsored by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and conducted by the University of Maryland.

Earnings growth rate: BLS Employment Compensation Index (ECI)External.

Medical costs: National Council on Compensation InsuranceExternal. This is a single 4-year average medical cost.

Employment estimates for rate calculations: BLS Current Population SurveyExternal.

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. Employment estimates for the specific industry were used to generate rates for event and source.

Classification Systems

Industry: 2002 National Industry Classification System (NAICS)External
Occupation: 2000 Standard Occupational Classification System (SOC)External
Event: 1992 BLS Occupational Injury and Illness Classification System (OIICS)External

NIOSH Fatal Occupational Injury Cost Fact Sheet: Couriers and Messengers (NAICS 492)

Page last reviewed: June 6, 2014