Last Modified Date: August 22, 2013
Identification and verification of work-related fatalities
In 2012, there were 12 cases included for which work relationship could not be independently verified;
however, the information on the initiating source document for these cases was sufficient to determine
that the incident was likely to be job-related. Data for these fatalities are included in the Census of Fatal
Occupational Injuries (CFOI) counts. An additional 69 fatalities submitted by states were not included
because the source documents had insufficient information to determine work relationship and could not
be verified by either an independent source document or a follow-up questionnaire.
States may identify additional fatal work injuries after data collection closeout for a reference year. In
addition, other fatalities excluded from the published count because of insufficient information to
determine work relationship may subsequently be verified as work related. States have up to 7 months
from this release to update their initial published state counts. This procedure ensures that fatality data
are disseminated as quickly as possible and that legitimate cases are not excluded from the revised
counts. Thus, each year's initial release of data should be considered preliminary. Revised data are
released in the Spring of the following year; revised counts for 2012 will be available in 2014.
Over the last 3 years, increases in the published counts based on additional information have averaged
146 fatalities per year or about 3 percent of the revised total. The BLS news release issued September
20, 2012, reported a total of 4,609 fatal work injuries for 2011. With the April 2013 release of revised
data, an additional 84 net fatal work injuries were added, bringing the total for 2011 to 4,693.
Federal/State agency coverage
The Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries includes data for all fatal work injuries, whether the decedent
was working in a job covered by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) or other
federal or state agencies or was outside the scope of regulatory coverage. Thus, any comparison between
the BLS fatality census counts and those released by other agencies should take into account the
different coverage requirements and definitions being used by each agency.
BLS thanks the participating states, New York City, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S.
Virgin Islands, and Guam for their efforts in collecting accurate, comprehensive, and useful data on fatal
work injuries. BLS also appreciates the efforts of all federal, state, local, and private sector entities that
submitted source documents used to identify fatal work injuries. Among these agencies are the
Occupational Safety and Health Administration; the National Transportation Safety Board; the U.S.
Coast Guard; the Mine Safety and Health Administration; the Office of Workers’ Compensation
Programs (Federal Employees’ Compensation and Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation
divisions); the Federal Railroad Administration; the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration;
state vital statistics registrars, coroners, and medical examiners; state departments of health, labor and
industries, and workers’ compensation agencies; state and local police departments; and state farm
Information in this release is available to sensory-impaired individuals. Voice phone: (202) 606-7828;
TDD phone: (202) 606-5897; TDD message referral phone: 1-800-326-2577.