For release 10:00 a.m. (EDT) Thursday, September 11, 2014 USDL-14-1674
Technical information: (202) 691-6170 - firstname.lastname@example.org - www.bls.gov/iif/oshcfoi1.htm
Media contact: (202) 691-5902 - PressOffice@bls.gov
NATIONAL CENSUS OF FATAL OCCUPATIONAL INJURIES IN 2013
A preliminary total of 4,405 fatal work injuries were recorded in the United States in 2013, lower than the revised
count of 4,628 fatal work injuries in 2012, according to results from the Census of Fatal Occupational
Injuries (CFOI) conducted by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The rate of fatal work injury for U.S. workers
in 2013 was 3.2 per 100,000 full-time equivalent (FTE) workers, compared to a final rate of 3.4 per 100,000 in 2012.
Final 2013 data from CFOI will be released in the late spring of 2015. Over the last 5 years, net increases to the
preliminary count have averaged 165 cases, ranging from a low of 84 in 2011 to a high of 245 in 2012. The revised
2011 figure was 2 percent higher than the preliminary total, while the 2012 figure was 6 percent higher.
Key preliminary findings of the 2013 Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries:
- Fatal work injuries in private industry in 2013 were 6 percent below the 2012 figure. The preliminary
2013 count of 3,929 fatal injuries in private industry represents the lowest annual total since the
fatality census was first conducted in 1992.
- Fatal work injuries among Hispanic or Latino workers were higher in 2013, rising 7 percent.
The 797 Hispanic or Latino worker deaths in 2013 constituted the highest total since 2008. Fatal work injuries
were lower among all other major racial/ethnic groups.
- Since 2011, CFOI has identified whether fatally-injured workers were working as contractors at the time of
the fatal incident. In 2013, 734 decedents were identified as contractors, above the 715 reported in 2012.
Workers who were working as contractors at the time of their fatal injury accounted for 17 percent of
all cases in 2013.
- Fatal work injuries involving workers under 16 years of age were substantially lower, falling from 19 in 2012
to 5 in 2013—the lowest total ever reported by the census. Fatal work injuries in most other age groups
were also lower in 2013, though fatal work injuries among workers 25 to 34 years of age were higher.
- Work-related suicides were 8 percent higher than in 2012, but workplace homicides were 16 percent lower.
Overall, violence accounted for 1 out of every 6 fatal work injuries in 2013.
- The number of fatal work injuries among firefighters was considerably higher in 2013, rising from 18 in
2012 to 53 in 2013. The large increase resulted from a few major incidents in which multiple fatalities were
recorded, including the Yarnell Hill wildfires in Arizona which claimed the lives of 19 firefighters.
- Fatal work injuries among self-employed workers were lower by 16 percent from 1,057 in 2012 to 892 in 2013.
The preliminary 2013 total represents the lowest annual total since the series began in 1992.
Fatal work injury counts were lower for all major racial/ethnic groups in 2013 except Hispanic or Latino workers.
Compared to final 2012 data, the number of fatal injuries was 6 percent lower among non-Hispanic white workers,
15 percent lower among non-Hispanic black or African-American workers, and 22 percent lower among
non-Hispanic Asian workers.
Fatal work injuries among Hispanic or Latino workers were 7 percent higher – 797 in 2013 compared to 748 in 2012.
Of the 797 fatal work injuries incurred by Hispanic or Latino workers, 527 (or 66 percent) involved foreign-born
workers. The fatal injury rate for Hispanic or Latino workers was 3.8 per 100,000 FTE workers, which was higher
than the national rate of 3.2 per 100,000 FTE workers. Overall, there were 845 fatal work injuries involving
foreign-born workers in 2013, of which the greatest share (352 or 42 percent) was born in Mexico.
Fatal work injuries involving workers under 16 years of age were down sharply to 5 in 2013 from 19 in 2012,
reaching its lowest annual total since the inception of the fatality census in 1992. There were 4,101 fatal
work injuries among men in 2013 compared with 4,277 in 2012, and fatal injuries among women were lower by 14 percent
in 2013 to 302 from 351 in 2012.
Fatal injuries to self-employed workers were 16 percent lower in 2013 – 892 compared to 1,057 in 2012. The
2013 preliminary total for self-employed workers is also a new low for the series, though self-employed workers still
accounted for 20 percent of all fatal work injuries. Fatal injuries among wage and salary workers were lower by
2 percent in 2013.
For more detailed information on fatal injuries by worker characteristics, see the worker characteristics table in
the 2013 data section at www.bls.gov/iif/oshcfoi1.htm.
Type of incident
Fatal transportation incidents were lower by 10 percent in 2013, but still accounted for about 2 out of every 5 fatal
work injuries in 2013. (See chart 1.) Of the 1,740 transportation-related fatal injuries in 2013, nearly 3 out of
every 5 (991 cases) were roadway incidents involving motorized land vehicles. Nonroadway incidents, such as a tractor
overturn in a farm field, accounted for another 13 percent of the transportation-related fatal injuries. About
16 percent of fatal transportation incidents (284 cases) in 2013 involved pedestrians who were struck by vehicles.
Forty-eight of these occurred in work zones. (Note that transportation counts presented in this release are expected
to rise when updated 2013 data are released in the late spring of 2015 because key source documentation detailing
specific transportation-related incidents has not yet been received.)
Fatal work injuries among those fatally injured in aircraft incidents in 2013 were 5 percent higher than in 2012,
accounting for 133 fatalities or about 8 percent of the transportation total.
Overall, 753 workers were killed as a result of violence and other injuries by persons or animals, including
397 homicides and 270 suicides. The work-related suicide total for 2013 was 8 percent higher than the 2012 total.
The homicide total was lower in 2013, falling 16 percent to 397 from 475 in 2012. Shootings were the most frequent
manner of death in both homicides (80 percent) and suicides (47 percent). Of the 302 fatal work injuries involving
female workers, 22 percent involved homicides, compared to 8 percent for men.
Fatal falls, slips, or trips took the lives of 699 workers in 2013. Falls to a lower level accounted for 574 (82 percent)
of those fatalities. In 2013, the height of the fall was reported for 466 of the fatal falls to a lower level.
Of those, about 1 in 4 occurred after a fall of 10 feet or less. Another one-fifth of the fatal falls occurred
from falls of over 30 feet.
A preliminary total of 717 fatal work injuries occurred as a result of contact with objects and equipment in 2013.
The number of workers who were fatally injured after being struck by objects or equipment was 3 percent lower –
503 fatal work injuries in 2013 compared to 519 in 2012. This total includes 245 workers struck by falling objects
or equipment. Another 105 workers were fatally injured after being caught in running equipment or machinery.
Fatal injuries involving fires and explosions were 21 percent higher in 2013 – 148 fatalities compared to 122 in 2012.
This was due in part to some incidents in which more than one worker was killed, including the Yarnell Hill wildfires
in Arizona which took the lives of 19 firefighters. Overall, there were 146 multiple-fatality incidents in 2013
including transportation, explosion, homicide, and other events, in addition to fires. A total of 375 workers died
in these 146 incidents.
For more detailed information on fatal injuries by incident, see the event tables in the 2013 data section
In the private sector, a total of 3,929 fatal work injuries were recorded in 2013, 6 percent lower than the final
total of 4,175 in 2012. Fatal work injuries were lower in both goods-producing industries and service-providing
industries. The preliminary counts for all private industry and for goods-producing and service-providing industries
are currently series lows for CFOI, but may be revised upward when final data are released in spring 2015.
Among goods-producing sectors, the number of fatal work injuries in the private construction sector in 2013 remained
about the same as in 2012, though overall construction fatalities are down 36 percent since 2006. The 796 fatal work
injuries in construction, nevertheless, accounted for the highest number of fatal work injuries of any industry sector
in 2013. (See chart 2.)
Fatal work injuries in the private mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction sector were 15 percent lower
in 2013 at 154 from 181 in 2012. The number of fatal work injury cases in oil and gas extraction industries were
over 20 percent lower in 2013 to 112 from 142 in 2012. CFOI has used the North American Industry Classification
System (NAICS) to define industry since 2003. Data on oil and gas extraction industries in CFOI comprise
NAICS 21111 Oil and gas extraction, NAICS 213111 Drilling oil and gas wells, and NAICS 213112 Support activities
for oil and gas operations.
Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting fatalities were 6 percent lower in 2013 at 479 compared to 509
in 2012—the third straight year of declines. Fatal injuries in the crop production; animal production;
and fishing, hunting, and trapping industries were lower, but fatal work injuries in forestry and logging
were higher by 25 percent at 81—the highest number since 2008. Despite the declines in fatal work injuries
overall in this sector, agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting still recorded the highest fatal injury rate of
any industry sector at 22.2 fatal injuries per 100,000 FTE workers in 2013.
Among service-providing industries in the private sector, fatal work injuries in transportation and warehousing accounted
for 687 fatal work injuries in 2013, 7 percent lower than the revised 2012 count of 741 fatalities. The number of fatal
injuries in truck transportation, the largest subsector within transportation and warehousing in terms of employment,
was 8 percent lower in 2013 at 461 fatalities. (As noted previously, transportation counts presented in this release
are expected to rise when updated 2013 data are released in the late spring of 2015.) Among other transportation
subsectors, fatal work injuries in air transportation were lower in 2013, but fatal work injury totals in water and
rail transportation were about the same as in 2012.
Fatal occupational injuries among government workers were higher by 5 percent to 476 fatal work injuries in 2013, up
from 453 in 2012. Both federal government and local government had higher fatal work injury totals in 2013 (up 19 percent
and 10 percent, respectively), though fatal injuries among state government workers were lower by 22 percent.
For more detailed information on fatal injuries by industry, see the industry tables in the 2013 data section
Fatal work injuries in construction and extraction occupations were 6 percent lower in 2013 at 818. (See chart 3.) Fatal
injuries among construction trades workers were lower by 5 percent in 2013 to 571 fatalities. The 2013 count of
construction trades workers is also 42 percent lower than the high of 977 fatal work injuries reported in 2006. Fatal
work injuries to construction laborers, the subgroup within construction trades with the highest number of fatalities,
remained about the same in 2013.
Fatal work injuries in transportation and material moving occupations were 5 percent lower to 1,184 in 2013.
Drivers/sales workers and truck drivers accounted for more than 3 out of every 5 fatal injuries in this sector (748 of
the 1,184 fatal injuries in 2013). As noted previously, transportation and material moving counts presented in this
release are expected to rise when updated 2013 data are released in the late spring of 2015.
The number of fatal work injuries among protective service occupations was higher by 7 percent in 2013 to 247 fatalities.
This was led by higher numbers of fatal injuries involving firefighting and prevention workers. Fatal injuries among
firefighters rose 194 percent to 53 fatal work injuries from 18 in 2012. Two incidents alone accounted for over half
of the 53 fatal injuries involving firefighters. Fatal work injuries among law enforcement workers were down 20 percent
to a new series low of 97 fatalities.
Fatalities among farming, fishing, and forestry occupations were lower by 13 percent to 225 in 2013. The decline was
led by the 19 percent drop in fatalities involving agricultural workers to a series low of 123 in 2013 from 152 in 2012.
Fatal injuries to resident military personnel were higher in 2013 – 67 fatal work injuries compared to 50 in 2012.
For more detailed information on fatal injuries by occupation, see the occupation tables in the 2013 data section
In addition to identifying the industry in which a decedent was employed, CFOI began in 2011 to identify whether a worker
was a contractor. A contractor is defined as a worker employed by one firm but working at the behest of another firm
that exercises overall responsibility for the operations at the site where the decedent was fatally injured. This
information helps to identify the location and type of work being performed when the fatal work injury occurred.
In 2013, the number of fatal occupational injuries incurred by contractors was 734, or 17 percent of all fatal injuries,
compared to 715 (15 percent) reported in 2012. Falls to a lower level accounted for 31 percent of contractor deaths while s
truck by object or equipment (18 percent), pedestrian struck by vehicle (11 percent), and exposure to electricity (7 percent)
incidents also were frequent events among contractors. These four types of incidents each constituted a greater share of
contractor fatalities than they did for all workers.
Fatally-injured contractors were most often contracted by a government entity (146 or 20 percent of all contractors) and by
firms in the private construction (139 or 19 percent); financial activities (61 or 8 percent); mining, quarrying, and oil
and gas extraction (59 or 8 percent); and manufacturing (58 or 8 percent) industry sectors.
Half of all contractors (367) were working in construction and extraction occupations when fatally injured. Decedents in
this occupation group were most often employed as construction laborers (95), first-line supervisors/managers of construction
trades and extraction workers (48), roofers (39), carpenters (26), and electricians (26). Among contractors who were employed
outside the construction and extraction occupations group, the largest number of fatal occupational injuries was incurred by
heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers (55); security guards (22); landscaping and groundskeeping workers (14); tree
trimmers and pruners (14); and welders, cutters, solderers, and brazers (13).
For more detailed information on fatal injuries incurred by contract workers, see the contractor table in the miscellaneous
CFOI data tables section at www.bls.gov/iif/oshcfoi1.htm#other.
State and metropolitan statistical area (MSA)
Seventeen states and the District of Columbia reported higher numbers of fatal work injuries in 2013 than in 2012, while
30 states reported lower numbers. Three states reported the same number as in 2012. For more detailed state results, contact
the individual state agency responsible for the collection of CFOI data in that state. Although data for Puerto Rico, the
U.S. Virgin Islands, and Guam are not included in the national totals for this release, results for these jurisdictions
Participating agencies and their telephone numbers are listed in Table 6. For more detailed information on fatal injuries
in a particular state, please contact the individual state agency.
Detailed data are available on fatal work injuries for more than 50 MSAs and counts of fatal work injuries are available
for over 300 MSAs. For additional data by MSA, see the tables in the MSA data tables section
Background of the program
The Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI), part of the BLS Occupational Safety and Health Statistics (OSHS) program,
compiles a count of all fatal work injuries occurring in the U.S. during the calendar year. The CFOI program uses diverse
state, federal, and independent data sources to identify, verify, and describe fatal work injuries. This ensures counts are
as complete and accurate as possible. For the 2013 data, over 19,100 unique source documents were reviewed as part of the
data collection process. For technical information and definitions for CFOI, please go to the BLS Handbook of Methods on
the BLS website at www.bls.gov/opub/hom/pdf/homch9.pdf.
The Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses (SOII), another component of the OSHS program, presents frequency counts
and incidence rates by industry and also by detailed case circumstances and worker characteristics for nonfatal workplace
injuries and illnesses for cases that result in days away from work. Incidence rates for 2013 by industry and case type
will be published in October 2014, and information on 2013 case circumstances and worker characteristics will be available
in November 2014. For additional data, access the BLS website: www.bls.gov/iif/.
|These data are being released 13 years after the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. Information on the 2,886 workers|
|who were killed while working at the time of the 9/11 attacks is available at: www.bls.gov/iif/oshwc/cfoi/cfnr0008.pdf. |