Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation (FACE) Program


collage of people working in different workplaces

The NIOSH and State FACE Programs have investigated deaths associated with: automation, law enforcement motor vehicle incidents, tree care, powered industrial trucks, warehousing, tow trucks, waste collection/sanitation, and other selected topics. On-site investigations are essential for observing sites where deaths occurred and for gathering facts and data.

How FACE Conducts Investigations

  • Step 1: Investigators evaluate the location where the death occurred to examine the worksite and collect facts about what happened before, during, and after the incident.
  • Step 2: Investigators talk with company officials, witnesses, and workers to learn about the work environment and victim.
  • Step 3: The investigators analyze the collected information, then prepare a report. Reports are anonymous and do not name the workers, witnesses, or others involved in the incident.
  • Step 4: The report is given to the company where the victim was employed and posted to the NIOSH website so others can use it for prevention strategies, training, and education purposes.

FACE Program Investigation Priority Categories

The State FACE programs identify their investigations two ways:

  1. Monitoring all external causes of occupational death within the funded state
  2. Collecting general epidemiological data on cases

State FACE programs conduct in-depth field investigations for selected fatal injury cases in priority categories.

FACE determines priority categories according to national and state priorities and the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries data.  FACE periodically reviews and updates these priorities to remain responsive to national and state needs. The current NIOSH FACE priority categories are:

  • Robot-related
  • Tree care/arborist
  • Powered industrial trucks/warehousing
  • Tow truck drivers
  • Waste collection/sanitation

About the Investigators

FACE investigators are safety professionals, engineers, or industrial hygienists with training and experience in identifying workplace hazards and developing recommendations to reduce the risk of injury and death. FACE investigators do not enforce compliance with State or Federal job safety and health standards, nor do they place blame or determine the fault for a workplace fatality. Investigators will not ask family members for an interview as part of their investigation but will share information and findings upon request. They will not include names of employers, victims, and/or witnesses in written investigative reports or in the FACE database.

FACE Investigations Conducted Thru 2021 in 46 States and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico