Article

November 2013

An analysis of fatal occupational injuries at road construction sites, 2003–2010

Notes

1 According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS). Visit http://www-fars.nhtsa.dot.gov/Main/index.aspx for more information.

2 Data on fatal occupational injuries are taken from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI), which identifies, details, and publishes data on all fatal occupational injuries that occur in the United States. For more background on the CFOI, see BLS Handbook of Methods, Chapter 9, “Occupational safety and health statistics” (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, September 5, 2012), http://www.bls.gov/opub/hom/homch9.htm#census_fatal. Additional data from the CFOI can be found in Injuries, illnesses, and fatalities: Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI)—current and revised data (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, August 22, 2013), http://www.bls.gov/iif/oshcfoi1.htm.

3 See Stephen Pegula, “Fatal occupational injuries at road construction sites,” Monthly Labor Review, December 2004, pp. 43–47, http://www.bls.gov/opub/mlr/2004/12/ressum2.pdf, and “Fatal occupational injuries at road construction sites, 2003–07,” Monthly Labor Review, November 2010, pp. 37–40, http://www.bls.gov/opub/mlr/2010/11/art3full.pdf.

4 Data from the narratives were compiled expressly for use in this analysis and are not official products of the CFOI.  The data were verified by an independent reviewer.

5 See Manual on uniform traffic control devices (U.S. Department of Transportation), http://mutcd.fhwa.dot.gov/. For the full publication, see Manual on uniform traffic control devices for streets and highways (U.S. Department of Transportation, 2009), http://mutcd.fhwa.dot.gov/pdfs/2009/mutcd2009edition.pdf. For more information on the MUTCD, see Manual on uniform traffic control devices (MUTCD): 2009 MUTCD, original, December 2009 (U.S. Department of Transportation, 2013), http://mutcd.fhwa.dot.gov/kno_2009.htm.

6 See Manual on uniform traffic control devices for streets and highways, p. 552.

7 Ibid., p. 564.

8 See Highway work zones and signs, signals, and barricades (U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Safety & Health Administration), http://www.osha.gov/doc/highway_workzones/.

9 See “Highway work zone safety,” Workplace safety & health topics (National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, June 6, 2013), http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/highwayworkzones/.

10 The organization’s website is at http://www.workzonesafety.org/.

11 For more information on how work relationship is defined in the CFOI, see Injuries, illnesses, and fatalities: Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI): Definitions (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 5, 2013), http://www.bls.gov/iif/oshcfdef.htm.

12 In the CFOI, the source of the injury in transportation cases is the vehicle or mobile equipment that the worker was driving or the vehicle or mobile equipment that struck the worker. The secondary source of the injury is either the vehicle or mobile equipment with which the worker’s vehicle or mobile equipment collided or another contributing object. For more information on the source and secondary source, see Injuries, illnesses, and fatalities: Occupational injury and illness classification manual (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, March 6, 2012), http://www.bls.gov/iif/oshoiics.htm.

13 Based on the Occupational injury and illness classification manual, construction- or maintenance-related equipment is defined as anything falling into the 32* source series, ”construction, logging, and mining machinery,” as well as source 8252, dump trucks. For the full manual used for 1992–2010 data, see Occupational injury and illness classification manual (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, September 2007), http://www.bls.gov/iif/oiics_manual_2007.pdf.

14 Normal operation is when the vehicle or mobile equipment is being operated by someone for a transportation purpose. Examples of vehicles or mobile equipment not in normal operation are a truck that slips into gear with no one at the wheel, a bulldozer that stalls and slides down a hill, and a front end loader with the parking brake not engaged and that rolls down a decline.

15 See Manual on uniform traffic control devices for streets and highways, p. 564.

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About the Author

Stephen M. Pegula
pegula.stephen@bls.gov

Steve Pegula is an economist in the Office of Safety, Health, and Working Conditions, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.