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Fatal occupational injuries --- United States, 2005.

Pegula-S; Marsh-SM; Jackson-LL
MMWR 2007 Apr; 56(13):297-301
Data from the annual Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI), collected by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), provide information on fatal occupational injuries that occur in the United States. CDC's National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) uses CFOI data to support research and evaluation activities related to the National Occupational Research Agenda (NORA), a partnership between the public and private sectors to encourage workplace safety and health research (1). Since 1992, when BLS first introduced CFOI, BLS has annually reported data on fatal occupational injuries from all 50 states and the District of Columbia. For 2005, BLS reported a total of 5,702* work-related fatal injuries and a rate of 4.0 deaths per 100,000 workers (2); compared with 1992, this represents an 8% decline in the number of deaths (from 6,217 in 1992) and a 23% decline in the fatality rate (from 5.2 in 1992). This report summarizes the 2005 data, which indicated that the highest percentages of fatal workplace injuries were attributed to highway incidents, followed by falls, being struck by an object, and homicides. Since 1992, the number of deaths resulting from highway incidents, falls, and being struck by an object has increased, and the number of homicides has decreased. To reduce the number of workplace deaths, transportation measures targeting workers (e.g., truck safety and highway work-zone safety) should be enhanced by state and local transportation agencies and coordinated with highway-safety measures for the general public. CFOI collects data on fatal occupational injuries from various federal, state, and local source documents, including death certificates, workers' compensation reports, medical examiner reports, and police reports. More than 95% of cases are verified by at least two independent sources (2). To be included in CFOI, the decedent must have been employed at the time of the event, been engaged in a legal work activity, or been present at a site as a job requirement. Public- and private-sector noninstitutionalized workers (i.e., wage and salary, self-employed, and volunteer) are included. CFOI excludes deaths that occurred during a worker's normal commute to and from work and deaths related to occupational illnesses (e.g., lung disease or cancer). Incident characteristics from the various CFOI source documents were used to code the event or exposure that directly caused the death, according to the Occupational Injury and Illness Classification System (OIICS) (3). The industry in which the decedent worked is coded according to the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) (4). For NORA, the detailed codes from the 20 NAICS sectors are combined into eight industry sectors (1) according to the similarity of their occupational safety and health risks: 1) agriculture, forestry, and fishing; 2) mining; 3) construction; 4) manufacturing; 5) wholesale and retail trade; 6) transportation, warehousing, and utilities; 7) services; and 8) health care and social assistance. For this analysis, fatality rates were calculated using estimates of employed civilian workers from the 2005 Current Population Survey (CPS) (5) and numbers of military personnel residing in the United States provided by the U.S. Department of Defense (2005 data)§; rates are expressed as number of work-related deaths per 100,000 workers. CPS is a monthly household survey of the U.S. civilian, noninstitutionalized population aged >/=16 years that includes wage and salary, self-employed, and part-time workers, in addition to unpaid workers in family-operated enterprises (e.g., farms and small businesses) (5). Rates are reported for workers aged >/=16 years; numbers of deaths are reported for all ages.
Injuries; Injury-prevention; Accident-rates; Accident-prevention; Accident-statistics; Statistical-analysis; Mortality-rates; Mortality-data; Mortality-surveys; Traumatic-injuries; Agricultural-industry; Forestry; Fishing-industry; Mining-industry; Construction-industry; Transportation-industry; Warehousing; Health-care; Surveillance
Publication Date
Document Type
Journal Article; Trade
Fiscal Year
Issue of Publication
NIOSH Division
SIC Code
Source Name
Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division