A pilot study tested an effort to develop accurate, timely, and readily available State-based estimates of the costs associated with fatal occupational injuries; it found that such estimates would benefit safety and health professionals and aid the overall education and prevention efforts aimed at eliminating workplace fatalities. In 1970, the U.S. Congress passed the Occupational Safety and Health Act to assure "so far as possible every working man and woman in the Nation safe and healthful working conditions. This landmark legislation created two new agencies to meet this ambitious goal. The act established the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to perform the enforcement function and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) to perform the research function. In addition, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) was charged with developing and maintaining a comprehensive statistical system covering all work-related deaths, injuries, and illnesses. Occupational mortality statistics are used to quantify the extent of some public health problems, such as fatal occupational injury, and to determine the relative importance of various worker and case characteristics. Frequency counts and incidence rates for fatal occupational injuries in the United States are annually collected and presented. Such relevant data provide a basis for setting priorities for research and prevention efforts. However, in addition to including the magnitude of the problem (frequency of injury and size of affected workforce) and the risk to workers (rates of injury), the criteria for setting priorities should include the amenability of fatal occupational injuries to prevention efforts, including the cost effectiveness of such efforts. To date, few studies have provided national cost estimates suitable for evaluative tools such as cost-effectiveness, cost-benefit, and decision analysis to assist in allocating limited resources more effectively. This pilot study tested an effort to develop State-based cost estimates that are representative, timely, and readily available for use by safety and health professionals.