Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI): Definitions


Definition of Traumatic Injury

A traumatic injury is defined as any wound or damage to the body resulting from acute exposure to energy, such as heat, electricity, or impact from a crash or fall, or from the absence of such essentials as heat or oxygen, caused by a specific event or incident within a single workday or shift. Included are open wounds, intracranial and internal injuries, heatstroke, hypothermia, asphyxiation, acute poisonings resulting from short-term exposures limited to the worker's shift, suicides and homicides, and work injuries listed as underlying or contributory causes of death. Heart attacks and strokes are considered illnesses and therefore excluded from CFOI unless a traumatic injury contributed to the death.

Work Relationship Criteria

A work relationship exists if an event or exposure results in the fatal injury or illness of a person:

  1. ON the employer's premises and the person was there to work; or
  2. OFF the employer's premises and the person was there to work, or the event or exposure was related to the person's work or status as an employee.

The employer's premises include buildings, grounds, parking lots, and other facilities and property used in the conduct of business. Work is defined as duties, activities, or tasks that produce a product or result; that are done in exchange for money, goods, services, profit, or benefit; and, that are legal activities in the United States.

The following are clarifications of the CFOI work relationship criteria.

  • Volunteer workers: fatal injuries to volunteer workers who are exposed to the same work hazards and perform the same duties or functions as paid employees and that meet the CFOI work relationship criteria are IN scope.
  • Institutionalized persons: fatal injuries to institutionalized persons, including inmates of penal and mental institutions, sanitariums, and homes for the aged, infirm and needy, are OUT of scope unless they are employed off the premises of their institutions.
  • Suicides and homicides that meet the CFOI work relationship criteria are IN scope.
  • Recreational activities: Fatal events or exposures that occurred during a person's recreational activities, that were not required by the person's employer, are OUT of scope.
  • Travel status: Fatal events or exposures that occurred when a person was in travel status are IN scope if the travel was for work purposes or was a condition of employment. The exclusion pertaining to recreational activities also applies to a person in travel status.
  • Commuting: Fatal events or exposures that occurred during a person's commute to or from work are OUT of scope, unless the incident occurred on the employer's premises.
  • Off-duty police: Homicides occurring to off-duty police officers are generally IN scope. Other fatal injuries to off-duty police are in scope if they are performing a police-related function, such as directing traffic at the scene of an accident or rescuing someone from a fire.
  • Undocumented workers: Fatal injuries to undocumented workers are IN scope provided they meet the other work-relationship criteria.

Data Element Definitions

The Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI) has published data on fatal occupational injuries for the United States since 1992. During this time, the classification systems and definitions of many data elements have changed. The following list describes data elements which experienced a series break or change in definition over the course of the CFOI program.

Occupation: For reference years 1992 to 2002, CFOI used the U.S. Census Bureau occupation classification system (BOC) system to classify occupation. For reference years 2003 to 2010, CFOI used the 2000 Standard Occupation Classification (SOC) system to classify occupation, representing a series break. Beginning with reference year 2011, a revised version of the SOC system will be used to classify occupations. While the changes to the new structure (SOC 2010) were not extensive, comparisons of SOC 2000 and SOC 2010 occupations should be made with caution. More information on the SOC, including an overview of new items in SOC 2010, can be found here: www.bls.gov/soc/home.htm. More information on occupation classifications used for the CFOI program can be found in the Handbook of Methods at www.bls.gov/opub/hom/homch9.pdf.

Industry: For reference years 1992 to 2002, CFOI used the Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) system to classify industry. For reference years 2003 to present, the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) has been used to classify industry, representing a series break. For reference years 2003 to 2008, CFOI used NAICS 2002. From reference year 2009 onward, NAICS 2007 was used. The differences between the NAICS 2002 and NAICS 2007 were not as broad as those between SIC and NAICS. Therefore, adoption of NAICS 2007 did not result in a series break. For reference year 2014, CFOI will adopt a revised industry classification system, NAICS 2012, which will represent a break in series. More information NAICS can be found here: www.bls.gov/bls/naics.htm. More information on industry classifications used for the CFOI program can be found in the Handbook of Methods at www.bls.gov/opub/hom/homch9.pdf.

Occupational Injury and Illness: In September 2010, the Bureau of Labor Statistics completed a major revision to the Occupational Injury and Illness Classification System (OIICS). The revised OIICS structure (OIICS 2.01) will be used beginning with reference year 2011 by CFOI. Because of the extensive revisions, data for the OIICS case characteristics for reference year 2011 represent a break in series with data for prior years. More information on OIICS can be found here: www.bls.gov/iif/oshoiics.htm. As a result of the break in series, new survey IDs have been created for the public IIF databases (www.bls.gov/iif/data.htm) for CFOI. More information on industry classifications used for the CFOI program can be found in the Handbook of Methods at www.bls.gov/opub/hom/homch9.pdf.

Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA): Beginning in 1999, the CFOI program began publishing MSA information based on definitions from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). For reference years 1999 to 2002, CFOI used the MSA definitions in OMB Bulletin Number 99-04, June 1999. For reference years 2003 to 2010, CFOI used the MSA definitions in OMB Bulletin Number 05-02, February, 2005. For reference year 2011 and forward, CFOI uses the MSA definitions in OMB Bulletin Number 10-02, December 2009.

New Data Elements: As the CFOI program developed, new data elements were introduced to increase the depth of the data and respond to data user requests. The following list shows the data element and the year it was introduced to the CFOI program.

  • Birthplace (Starts in 2001): This variable indicates the country of birth of the decedent.
  • Contractor (Starts in 2011): This variable indicates whether the decedent was in contractor status at the time of the incident. In CFOI, a contractor is 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 killed. Some additional rules for classifying contractors in CFOI:

    • A business-to-business relationship to establish contractor status must exist. For example, an HVAC repairman working at a private residence is not considered a contractor. That same HVAC repairman working at a restaurant is considered to be a contractor since a business-to-business relationship is present.
    • Incidents that occur at sites where a potential contracting firm does not exercise overall responsibility for the site, such as a public roadway, are not included as contractors with certain exceptions.
    • Suicides and other incidents that are initiated intentionally by the decedent are not included as contractors.
    • Contractor status can be inferred from available case data if not explicitly stated. If, for example, a security guard employed directly by a security firm is killed while working at a bar, the security guard must have been contracted by the bar or else he/she would not have been present.
  • Contractor NAICS (Starts in 2011): This variable indicates the industry of the firm contracting the decedent provided the decedent was working as a contractor at the time of the incident.
  • Contractor Ownership (Starts in 2011): This variable indicates the ownership (private, federal, state, local, foreign, or other government) of the firm contracting the decedent provided the decedent was working as a contractor at the time of the incident.
  • See below for a table showing the years in which major data elements in CFOI were collected.

Age

1992-present

Birthplace

2001-present

Contractor

2011-present

Contractor NAICS

2011-present

Contractor Ownership

2011-present

Day of Incident

1992-present

Employee Status

1992-present

Event 2011

2011-present

Event or Exposure

1992-2010

Gender

1992-present

Hispanic Origin

1992-present

Industry/NAICS

2003-present

Industry/SIC

1992-2002

Location

1992-present

MSA

1999-present

Month of Incident

1992-present

Nature

1992-2010

Nature 2011

2011-present

Occupation/BOC

1992-2002

Occupation/SOC

2003-present

Ownership

1992-present

Part of Body

1992-2010

Part of Body 2011

2011-present

Primary Source

1992-2010

Primary Source 2011

2011-present

Race

1992-present

Secondary Source

1992-2010

Secondary Source 2011

2011-present

State of Incident

1992-present

Time of Incident

1992-present

Worker Activity

1992-present


 

Last Modified Date: May 5, 2013