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US Bureau of Labor Statistics Releases Fatal Occupational Injury Statistics

March 2017 / by: Taylor Hughes Zahler

The final count of fatal work injuries in the United States in 2013 was 4,585, up from the preliminary count of 4,405 reported in September 2014. The final 2013 total was the second-lowest annual total recorded since the fatal injury census was first conducted in 1992. The overall fatal work injury rate for the United States in 2013 was 3.3 fatal injuries per 100,000 full-time equivalent (FTE) workers, down slightly from the final rate of 3.4 reported for 2012. The final fatal work injury rate for 2013 is the lowest rate published by the program since the conversion to hours based rates in 2006. The final 2013 numbers reflect updates to the 2013 Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI) file made after the release of preliminary results in September 2014. Revisions and additions to the 2013 CFOI counts result from the identification of new cases and the revision of existing cases based on source documents received after the release of preliminary results. A table summarizing the results of the update process appears on the next page. Among the changes resulting from the updates: 

• The private construction sector saw a net increase of 32 fatal work injuries, resulting in a revised count of 828 for that sector. The 2013 total was 3 percent higher than the 2012 total and represented the largest number of fatal work injuries in private construction since 2009. 

• The number of fatal work injuries involving Hispanic or Latino workers rose to 817 after updates, a 9 percent increase compared to the 2012 total (748). The fatal injury rate for Hispanic or Latino workers also increased to 3.9 per 100,000 FTE workers in 2013 from 3.7 in 2012. The number of non-Hispanic Black or African-American workers who were fatally injured on the job in 2013 increased 6 percent from the preliminary (414) to revised (439) counts. The total for non-Hispanic white workers rose by 4 percent after the updates. 

• Roadway incidents were higher by 108 cases (11 percent) from the preliminary count, increasing the total number of fatal work-related roadway incidents in 2013 to 1,099 cases. The final 2013 total represented a 5 percent decrease from the final 2012 count. 

• Fatal work injuries resulting from falls, slips, and trips rose by 25 cases after updates, increasing the falls, slips, and trips total to 724 cases. 

• In the private transportation and warehousing sector, fatal injuries increased by 7 percent from the preliminary count, led by a net increase of 32 cases in the truck transportation industry. 

• The total number of contractors fatally injured on the job in 2013 rose from 734 to 749 after updates were included. Contract workers accounted for 16 percent of all fatal work injuries in 2013. For more information, see the table on contractor data. 

• Overall, 34 States and the District of Columbia revised their counts upward as a result of the update. CFOI has compiled an annual count of all fatal work injuries occurring in the U.S. since 1992 by using diverse data sources to identify, verify, and profile fatal work injuries. For more information, see Chapter 9 of the BLS Handbook of Methods. 

The revised data can be accessed using the following tools: Create Customized Tables (Multiple Screens), Create Customized Tables (Single Screen), and the Online Profiles System. The original September 2014 press release with the preliminary results can be found here: National Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries in 2013. Additional tables and charts can be found on the CFOI homepage and on the CFOI State page

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