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Fatal Injuries to Workers in the United States, 1980-1989: A Decade of Surveillance – National Profile

August 1993
DHHS (NIOSH) Publication Number 93-108

Occupational injury mortality in the United States for 1980 through 1989 was investigated using information from the National Traumatic Occupational Fatalities surveillance system. Data were obtained from death certificates for workers 16 years of age or older who died as a result of a work related injury. The findings indicated that from 1980 through 1989, a total of 63,589 workers died from occupationally sustained injuries; 62,289 deaths were in civilian workers. Males accounted for 56% of the civilian work force at this time, but for 94% of the fatal occupational injuries. The age group that accounted for the largest number of deaths was between 25 to 29 years, followed by the 30 to 34 year old age group. The leading causes of occupational injury death were motor vehicle crashes (23%), machine related incidents (14%), homicides (12%), falls (10%), electrocutions (7%), and being struck by falling objects (7%). When ranked by industry and rate per thousand of workers, the mining industry appeared to be the most hazardous followed in decreasing order by construction, transportation and communication, agriculture with forestry and fishing, public administration, and others.