News Release Information

Tuesday, October 25, 2011


Further information:

Workplace Fatalities in New Mexico — 2010

Fatal work injuries totaled 38 in New Mexico in 2010, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Regional Commissioner Stanley W. Suchman noted that while the 2010 count was preliminary, the number of work-related fatalities had fallen by 4 from one year earlier. New Mexico was one of 23 states to report lower numbers of fatal work injuries in 2010 than in 2009. Fatal occupational injuries in the State have ranged from a high of 63 in 2002 to a low of 31 in 2008. (See table 1 and chart 1.)

Nationwide, a preliminary total of 4,547 fatal work injuries were recorded in 2010, about the same as the final count of 4,551 fatalities recorded in 2009, according to results from the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI) program. Final 2010 CFOI data will be released in Spring 2012.

Chart 1. Total work-related fatalities and selected events, New Mexico, 1992-2010

Highway incidents were the most frequent type of workplace fatality in New Mexico in 2010, accounting for 9 deaths. (See table 2.) Despite its rank as the leading cause of worker fatalities in 2010, this level was the lowest count on record since 1996. Work-related deaths due to falls to a lower level rose to 6 in 2010, up from 4 a year earlier. The number of on-the-job fatalities due to homicides (5) was unchanged from a year ago, as was fatal injuries resulting from exposure to caustic, noxious, or allergenic substances (3).

In the United States, highway incidents were also the most frequent fatal workplace event, accounting for 21 percent of fatal work injuries. In New Mexico, highway incidents accounted for 24 percent of work-related fatalities. Nationwide, falls to a lower level and homicides were the next most frequent type of fatal event, each with 11 percent of total work-related fatalities; these were also the next most frequent events in New Mexico at 16 percent for falls and 13 percent for homicides. Nationally, the fourth most frequent fatal injury was the result of workers being struck by an object or equipment, accounting for 9 percent of U.S. on-the-job deaths.

Additional key characteristics:

  • Men accounted for 33 of the 38 work-related fatalities in the State. (See table 3.) Transportation incidents, which include highway, nonhighway, pedestrian, air, water, and rail, made up 30 percent of these fatalities.
  • In New Mexico, 45 percent of those who died from a workplace injury were white non-Hispanics. Nationwide, this group accounted for a substantially higher share of work-related deaths at 72 percent. In contrast, Hispanic or Latino work-related deaths accounted for 45 percent of the State’s fatalities, three times the United States share of 15 percent.
  • Workers 25-54 years old—the prime working age group—accounted for 25, or 66 percent, of the State’s work-related fatalities in 2010. Nationally, workers in this group accounted for 60 percent of on-the-job fatalities.
  • Of the 38 occupational fatalities in New Mexico, 82 percent worked for wages and salaries; the remaining fatalities were among the self-employed. The leading cause of death for wage and salary workers was transportation incidents, accounting for 39 percent of fatal injuries. Among the self-employed, the leading cause of worker fatalities was assaults and violent acts, accounting for 71 percent of fatal injuries.
  • The construction sector had the largest number of fatalities, 10, followed by manufacturing and transportation and warehousing, each with 6. In the construction industry, falls and exposure to harmful substances or environments were each responsible for 30 percent of fatal injuries.
  • Transportation and material moving occupations had the highest number of workplace fatalities in the state with 11, of which heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers accounted for 10. Workers in construction and extraction jobs had the second-highest fatality count at 9.

Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries data are available on the BLS Internet site at and detailed data may be accessed from Further information on the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries program, as well as other Bureau programs, is available on the Southwest Information Office web site at or by contacting us at 972-850-4800 from 8:00 to 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. CT.

Technical Note

Background of the program.  The Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries, part of the BLS occupational safety and health statistics program, compiles a count of all fatal work injuries occurring in the U.S. during the calendar year. The program uses diverse State, federal, and independent data sources to identify, verify, and describe fatal work injuries. This assures counts are as complete and accurate as possible.

For technical information about the CFOI program, please go to the BLS Handbook of Methods on the BLS web site at The technical information and definitions for the CFOI Program are in Chapter 9, Part III of the BLS Handbook of Methods.

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.

Several federal and State agencies have jurisdiction over workplace safety and health. OSHA and affiliated agencies in States with approved safety programs cover the largest portion of the nation's workers. However, injuries and illnesses occurring in certain industries or activities, such as coal, metal, and nonmetal mining and highway, water, rail, and air transportation, are excluded from OSHA coverage because they are covered by other federal agencies, such as the Mine Safety and Health Administration and various agencies within the Department of Transportation.

Acknowledgments.  The Bureau of Labor Statistics thanks the New Mexico Environment Department 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 Employment Standards Administration (Federal Employees' Compensation and Longshore and Harbor Workers' divisions); the Federal Railroad Administration; the Department of Energy; 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 bureaus.

Table 1. Fatal occupational injuries in New Mexico by selected event groups, 1992-2010
Year Total fatalities Highway incidents Falls to lower level Homicides
Number Percent Number Percent Number Percent


35 7 20 4 11 4 11


55 18 33 -- -- 5 9


54 12 22 5 9 9 17


58 12 21 5 9 4 7


60 9 15 5 8 10 17


50 15 30 3 6 3 6


48 13 27 3 6 3 6


39 11 28 4 10 4 10


35 11 31 3 9 -- --


59 22 37 6 10 7 12


63 26 41 3 5 4 6


46 17 37 3 7 8 17


57 28 49 -- -- 4 7


44 17 39 4 9 8 18


59 21 36 9 15 -- --


52 22 42 3 6 4 8


31 15 48 5 16 4 13


42 11 26 4 10 5 12


38 9 24 6 16 5 13

NOTE: Data for 2010 are preliminary. Dashes indicate no data reported or data that do not meet publication criteria.

Table 2. Fatal occupational injuries by event or exposure, New Mexico, 2009-2010
Event or exposure(1) 2009 2010
Number Number Percent


42 38 100

Transportation incidents

20 12 32


11 9 24

Collision between vehicles, mobile equipment

-- 4 11

Moving in opposite directions, oncoming

-- 3 8


8 4 11

Jack-knifed or overturned-no collision

8 4 11

Worker struck by a vehicle

5 -- --

Assaults and violent acts

7 10 26


5 5 13


4 5 13

Self-inflicted injuries

-- 3 8

Contact with objects and equipment

6 -- --

Struck by object or equipment

6 -- --

Struck by falling object or equipment

4 -- --


5 6 16

Fall to lower level

4 6 16

Fall from ladder

-- -- --

Exposure to harmful substances or environments

4 6 16

Contact with electric current

-- 3 8

Exposure to caustic, noxious, or allergenic substances

3 3 8

(1) Based on the 2007 BLS Occupational Injury and Illness Classification Manual. Includes other events and exposures, such as bodily reaction, in addition to those shown separately.

NOTE: Totals for major categories may include subcategories not shown separately. Dashes indicate no data reported or data that do meet publication criteria. Data for 2010 are preliminary.
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, in cooperation with state and federal agencies, Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries.

Table 3. Fatal occupational injuries by worker characteristics, New Mexico, 2009-2010
Worker characteristics 2009 2010
Number Number Percent


42 38 100
Employee Status

Wage and salary workers(1)

38 31 82


4 7 18


37 33 87


5 5 13

25 to 34 years

7 6 16

35 to 44 years

10 10 26

45 to 54 years

11 9 24

55 to 64 years

11 7 18
Race or Ethnic Origin(4)

White, non-Hispanic

21 17 45

Hispanic or Latino

16 17 45

(1) May include volunteers and workers receiving other types of compensation.
(2) Includes self-employed workers, owners of unincorporated businesses and farms, paid and unpaid family workers, and may include some owners of incorporated businesses or members of partnerships.
(3) Because there may have been no incidents reported for some ages or because the data do not meet publication criteria, information is not available for all age groups. In addition, some fatalities may have had insufficient information with which to determine the age of the decedents.
(4) Persons identified as Hispanic or Latino may be of any race. The race categories shown exclude Hispanic and Latino workers.

NOTE: Totals for major categories may include subcategories not shown separately. Dashes indicate no data reported or data that do meet publication criteria. Data for 2009 are preliminary.
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, in cooperation with state and federal agencies, Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries.


Last Modified Date: October 25, 2011