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September 1992, Vol. 115, No. 9
Fatal work injuries: census for 31 States
Guy Toscano and Janice Windau
Fatal work injuries are tragic events that often can be traced to hazardous working conditions or unsafe work practices. Unfortunately, the safety and health community has lacked the basic information needed to assess the full scope of these events. To help fill this information gap, the Bureau of Labor Statistics has designed and is implementing a Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI) that generates not only verified counts of fatal work injuries, but also information on how the injury occurred, as well as the age, occupation, and other demographic data concerning the fatally injured person.
This article summarizes the initial results for the 31 States that participated in the first implementation phase of the CFOI program, which covered calendar year 1991. The 31-State total used for this analysis does not represent the fatality profile for the Nation as a whole or for individual participating States. Each such State is expected to release its fatality count and fatality profile later this fall.
Background for a complete census
The Bureau of Labor Statistics has a long history of compiling statistics on safety and health conditions for workers. As early as 1912, the Bureau started publishing its first series on industrial accidents in the iron and steel industry. It was not, however, until the passage of the Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Act of 1970 that record-keeping and reporting of data on occupational safety and health became mandatory. The OSH Act requires the Secretary of Labor to develop and maintain an effective program of occupational safety and health statistics. Since 1972, the Bureau, in cooperation with State agencies, has conducted an annual sample survey of about 280,000 private sector establishments and has used the survey results to compile injury, illness, and fatality statistics.
This excerpt is from an article published in the September 1992 issue of the Monthly Labor Review. The full text of the article is available in Adobe Acrobat's Portable Document Format (PDF). See How to view a PDF file for more information.
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