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Fatal injuries to civilian workers in the United States, 1980-1995 (national profile).
Morgantown, WV: 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 (NIOSH) Publication No. 2001-129, 2001 Jun; :1-56
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health collects and automates death certificates from the 52 vital statistics reporting units in the 50 States, New York City, and the District of Columbia for workers 16 years of age or older who die as a result of a work-related injury. Analysis of occupational injury deaths, such as those gathered through the National Traumatic Occupational Fatalities (NTOF) surveillance system, facilitates identification of high risk worker groups and potential injury risk factors by demographic, employment, and injury characteristics. This promotes the effective use of resources aimed at preventing injuries in the workplace. In reviewing these data, it is important to note the distinction between the number of deaths and fatality rates. The number of deaths indicates the magnitude of a problem and fatality rates depict the risk faced by workers. Fatal occupational injury data for 1980 through 1995 are provided for the U.S. and for each State. Major findings from this study: There were 93,338 civilian workers who died from injuries sustained while working in the U.S., 1980 through 1995 (Table US-1). The average annual occupational fatality rate for the U.S. civilian workforce was 5.2 per 100,000 workers for 1980 through 1995 (Table US-1). Civilian fatal occupational injuries decreased 28%, from 7,343 fatalities in 1980 to 5,314 in 1995 (Table US-1). The average annual fatality rate per 100,000 civilian workers decreased, from 7.4 in 1980 to 4.3 in 1995 - a 42% decrease (Table US-1). The greatest number of fatal occupational injuries occurred in California (9,670), Texas (9,423), Florida (5,596), Illinois (4,169), and Pennsylvania (3,926) (Table US-2). The States with the highest occupational injury fatality rates per 100,000 workers were Alaska (24.3), Wyoming (16.7), Montana (12.4), Idaho (10.7), West Virginia (10.4), and Mississippi (10.1) (Table US-2). The fatality rate for males (8.8 per 100,000 workers) was 11 times higher than the rate for females (0.8 per 100,000 workers) (Table US-3). Eighty-five percent of civilian workers who died were white and 11% were black (Table US-3). Black workers had the highest fatality rate per 100,000 workers (5.8), followed by whites (5.1) (Table US-3). The age group with the largest number of occupational injury fatalities was the 25-34 year old age group (26%) followed closely by the 35-44 year old age group (22%) (Table US-3). Workers 65 years and older had the highest fatality rate of all age groups (13.6 deaths per 100,000 workers) in every industry and occupation division (Tables US-3, US-17, US-27). The leading causes of occupational injury death in the U.S. were motor vehicle crashes (23%), homicides (14%), machine-related incidents (13%), falls (10%), electrocutions (7%), and being struck by falling objects (6%) (Table US-7). The highest rates by cause of death varied by gender: the highest rate for females was homicide (0.3 per 100,000 workers), while motor vehicle crashes (2.0 per 100,000 workers) were the cause of death with the highest rate among males (Table US-7). While the rate of motor vehicle-related fatalities decreased 36% between 1980 and 1995 (from 1.7 per 100,000 workers to 1.1), motor vehicles continued to have the highest rate through 1995. Machines had the second highest rate per 100,000 workers until 1990, when they were surpassed by homicides (Table US-9). The highest rates by cause of death varied by race: the highest rate for whites was motor vehicle crashes (1.2 per 100,000 workers), while the highest rate by cause of death for blacks was homicide (1.4 per 100,000 workers) (Table US-10). The industry divisions with the greatest proportion of fatalities were construction (18%), transportation/communication/public utilities (17%), manufacturing (15%), and agriculture/forestry/fishing (12%) (Table US-13). The mining industry had the highest average annual fatality rate per 100,000 workers (30.4), followed by agriculture/forestry/fishing (19.6), construction (15.3), and transportation/communication/public utilities (12.6) (Table US-13). The highest rates by cause of death varied by industry: the highest rate in the agriculture/forestry/fishing industry was for machinery-related incidents (6.6 per 100,000 workers), while the highest rate by cause of death in the retail trade industry was for homicides (1.7) (Table US-16). The occupation divisions with the greatest proportion of fatalities were precision production/craft/repairers (21%), transportation/material movers (17%), farmers/foresters/fishers (13%), and laborers (11%) (Table US-23). The occupation division of farmers/foresters/fishers had the highest average annual fatality rate per 100,000 workers (21.9), followed by transportation/material movers (21.6), laborers (13.7), and precision production/craft/repairers (9.2) (Table US-23). The highest rates by cause of death varied by occupation: the highest rate among executives/administrators/managers was for homicides (0.8 per 100,000 workers), while machinery-related incident rates were highest among farmers/foresters/fishers (7.0) (Table US-26).
Injuries; Accident-rates; Accident-analysis; Accident-statistics; Traumatic-injuries; Injury-prevention; Accident-prevention; Statistical-analysis
NTIS Accession No.
DHHS (NIOSH) Publication No. 2001-129
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division