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Economic News Release
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Technical notes



The Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI), part of the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Occupational
Safety and Health Statistics (OSHS) program, is a count of all fatalities resulting from workplace injuries 
occurring in the U.S. during the calendar year.  The CFOI uses a variety of state, federal, and independent data 
sources to identify, verify, and describe fatal work injuries. This ensures counts are as complete and accurate as 
possible. For the 2021 data, over 23,900 unique source documents were reviewed as part of the data collection 
process. For technical information and definitions for the CFOI, see the BLS Handbook of Methods on the BLS 
website at and the CFOI definitions at Fatal injury rates are subject to 
sampling error as they are calculated using employment data from the Current Population Survey, a sample of 
households, and the BLS Local Area Unemployment Statistics. For more information on sampling error, see

The Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses (SOII), another component of the OSHS program, presents frequency counts 
and incidence rates by industry, detailed case circumstances, and worker characteristics for nonfatal workplace injuries and 
illnesses for cases that result in days away from work. For these data, access the BLS website: 

Identification and verification of work-related fatalities
In 2021, work relationship could not be independently verified by multiple source documents for 31 fatal work injuries. 
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.

Federal/State agency coverage
The CFOI includes data for all fatal work injuries, some of which may be outside the scope of other agencies or regulatory 
coverage. Comparisons between CFOI counts and those released by other agencies should account for the different coverage 
requirements and definitions used by each agency. For more information on the scope of CFOI, 
see and 

Due to challenges related to obtaining key source documents for Arizona, CFOI case counts may be underrepresented. 

Latency Cases
Latent fatal occupational injury cases occur when the date of injury differs from the date of death. In some cases, the 
death occurs in a different year than the occupational injury and are known as cross-year latent cases. In 2021, there 
were 197 cases where this occurred, and 174 of these latent cases occurred more than 30 days prior to the start of 2021. 
For more information on latent cases, see

CFOI Methodology
Starting with the reference year 2019, CFOI modernized its disclosure methodology further strengthening its protection of 
confidential data. Individually identifiable data collected by the CFOI are used exclusively for statistical purposes and are 
protected under the Confidential Information Protection and Statistical Efficiency Act of 2002 (CIPSEA). These data are 
collected under a pledge of confidentiality and therefore require BLS to prevent disclosure of identifying information 
of decedents. For more information see

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic and the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries
CFOI reports fatal workplace injuries only. These may include fatal workplace injuries complicated by an illness such as 
COVID-19. Fatal workplace illnesses not precipitated by an injury are not in scope for CFOI. CFOI does not report any 
illness related information, including COVID-19. Additional information is available at

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. Although data for 
Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Guam are not included in the national totals, results for these jurisdictions 
are available. Participating agencies may be contacted to request more detailed state results. 
Contact information is available at 

BLS also appreciates the efforts of all federal, state, local, and private sector entities that provided 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 industrial relations and workers’ compensation agencies; state and local police departments; and state farm bureaus. 

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Last Modified Date: December 16, 2022