Atlanta, GA: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, U60-OH-008329, 2009 Dec; :1-38
Work-related fatal injuries are a significant problem in Michigan as they are throughout the United States. A comprehensive surveillance system for Michigan work-related fatal injuries was established to: identify work situations at increased risk for work-related fatal injuries; conduct an on-site work place investigation to identify the underlying cause(s) of these fatalities; and, based on the information gathered, formulate and disseminate prevention strategies to stakeholders to reduce the number of these preventable deaths. The results of a comprehensive surveillance system and on-site investigation are needed not only to target educational intervention but also to identify needed regulatory and control technology changes. Five hundred twenty two individuals died from a work-related fatal injury between September I, 2004 and August 31, 2008. The Construction industry accounted for 116 (22.2%) of the fatal injuries, followed by Manufacturing (70, 13.4%) and Agriculture (64, 12.3%). The primary cause of a work-related death was due to a motor vehicle incident (114, 21.8%), followed by falls (87, 16.7%), then struck by (75, 14.4%), then machines and homicide (67 each, 12.8%). September had the highest number of fatal work-related incidents (53, 10.2%), followed by August (50, 9.6%), October (48, 9.2 %), June (48, 9.2%), and November (46, 8.8%). As expected, of the known time of injury, the work hours of 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. had the highest number of work-related fatalities (316, 66.1 %). Broken out into four-hour time periods, the time period of 12:00 p.m. to 3:59 p.m. had 136 fatal injuries and 8:00 a.m. to 11:59 a.m. had 134 work-related fatal injuries. The time period of 4:00 p.m. to 4:59 p.m. had 31 fatal injuries. When the day of injury was known, Monday and Friday were the days of the week that individuals were most likely to have a work-related fatal injury; Monday had 87 (16.9%) and Friday had 86 (16.7%). Wednesday had 84 (16.3%), then Tuesday (82, 16.0%), and then Thursday (75, 14.6%). MIFACE contacted 260 employers to ask for their participation. MIFACE conducted 69 (26.5%) workplace investigations. Two of the 69 investigations found that the death was not-work-related. One hundred ninety one (73.5%) employers chose not to participate. MIFACE has written and posted to the MSU OEM website 107 summaries of MIOSHA investigations and 7 one-page hazard alerts which identify common factors in a work-related fatality. Seventy two presentations were made to industry, medical professionals and trade groups. The identification of root cause(s) of a work-related fatality provides a practical tool for employers to assess their workplace to determine if similar factors are present and implement preventive actions to minimize the occurrence of a similar fatality occurring.
John Peck, Michigan Department of Energy Labor and Economic Growth, Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration, Management and Technical Services Division, PO Box 30643, Lansing, MI 48909