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Data from the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries: Explanatory Note
Originally Posted: April 28, 2004
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI) produces comprehensive, accurate, and timely counts of fatal work injuries. CFOI is a Federal-State cooperative program that has been implemented in all 50 States and the District of Columbia since 1992. To compile counts that are as complete as possible, the census uses multiple sources to identify, verify, and profile fatal worker injuries.
Information about each workplace fatality--occupation and other worker characteristics, equipment involved, and circumstances of the event--is obtained by cross referencing the source records, such as death certificates, State and Federal workers' compensation reports, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) fatality reports, news media, coroner, medical examiner, and autopsy reports, State motor vehicle fatality reports, and follow-up questionnaires. To ensure that fatalities are work-related, cases are substantiated with two or more independent source documents, or a source document and a follow-up questionnaire.
Data compiled by the CFOI program are issued annually for the preceding calendar year and include information such as the industry of the employer, employee occupation, type of incident, type of machinery or equipment involved, nature of injury, part of body affected, age, race, and sex of the worker. These data are used by safety and health policy analysts and researchers to help prevent fatal work injuries by
- Informing workers of life threatening hazards associated with various jobs;
- Promoting safer work practices through enhanced job safety training;
- Assessing and improving workplace safety standards; and
- Identifying new areas of safety research.
There are two other annual BLS releases on work-related safety and health. The Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses (SOII) summary release presents the overall level and rate of nonfatal injuries and illnesses, by case type and industry. Another release from that survey provides detailed case and demographic characteristics of cases that involve at least one day away from work.
For more detailed information on this program, contact the Office of Safety, Health, and Working Conditions, Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2 Massachusetts Avenue, NE, Room 3180, Washington, DC 20212.
Telephone: (202) 691-6175
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