Department of Labor Logo United States Department of Labor
Dot gov

The .gov means it's official.
Federal government websites often end in .gov or .mil. Before sharing sensitive information, make sure you're on a federal government site.


The site is secure.
The https:// ensures that you are connecting to the official website and that any information you provide is encrypted and transmitted securely.

Handbook of Methods Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries Presentation

Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries: Presentation

Summary information including the key fatal injury circumstances (event/exposure, occupation, and industry) and the demographics of workers fatally injured on the job, along with overall counts, are included in a national news release issued annually, about a year after the end of the reference period.⁠⁠1 The latest news release for the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI) can be found at the Injuries, Illnesses, and Fatalities (IIF) program homepage. Data are available at the national, state, and metropolitan statistical area (MSA) level. More information on the schedule of the data releases can be found on the news release page.

CFOI provides annual fatal injury counts by case circumstances and worker characteristics in a variety of ways. Following is a list of the cross-tabulations that appear on the CFOI homepage and are produced every year:

  • Industry by selected event or exposure
  • Occupation by event or exposure
  • Worker characteristics (worker status, gender, age, race or ethnic origin) by event or exposure
  • Event or exposure by major private industry sector

Also found on the CFOI homepage are the interactive charts, national fatal injury rates, and MSA tables. For more information on methodology for calculating rates or a description of the variables collected and coded for CFOI see the calculation section. All of the rates produced by the CFOI program are available online.

Besides national data, state-specific data on workplace fatalities are available from participating state agencies. A list of state agencies along with their telephone numbers is available online or by calling (202) 691-6170. The state page also contains a basic data table for each state as well as state fatal injury rates (for methodology on calculating state rates, please see the calculation section).

Data tools

There are a variety of tools available both online and through special request to aid data users. To accommodate the series breaks in CFOI (see the history section for more information), the online data tools can be run for the periods 1992–2002, 2003–10, and 2011 forward individually, but cannot cross over these time periods.

For CFOI reference years 2011 through 2018, it is possible for a total value to be suppressed for confidentiality purposes when one or more component pieces of the total value do not meet CFOI’s publishability criteria.

In these cases, the detailed category is composed of cases that are all from public source documents, whereas the higher level, or aggregate category, that is not publishable is made up of cases that are not all from public source documents.

Profiles on the Web

The data profiles tool on the web allows users to create customized tables of the number of work-related fatal injuries based on user-specified criteria. This is a good way to get an overview of the data available in an area of interest, both in magnitude and detail.


There are various ways to retrieve specific data on our databases page. There are single and multiscreen data searches, as well as a series report. More information on the way the CFOI data are classified into series identification codes can be found online.

The discontinued data series (resulting from the breaks in series) are at the bottom of the database page.

Flat files

Flat files of the entire CFOI database or parts of the database are available through the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) download server site. Each data series on the BLS download site includes a two-character series designator. Clicking on the series designator expands the directory to provide a list of the files included with each series. Included with each series (generally the last file in each series directory) is a text file that provides: (1) a survey definition and a listing of the FTP files listed in the survey directory; (2) time series, series file, data file, and mapping file definitions and relationships; (3) series, data, and mapping file formats and definitions; and (4) a data element directory. The CFOI series have experienced several breaks due to changes in coding systems. Data from these separate series may not be comparable with one another. The following flat file series identifiers cover available CFOI data reflective of the series breaks (See history section for more.):

            cf —1992–2002 (1987 SIC, BOC)

            fi —2003–10 (2002 NAICS, 2000 SOC)

            fw—2011 forward (OIICS 2.01)

Special tabulations

In addition to the data available online, some fatality data may be available by contacting the CFOI program directly.

CFOI microdata

BLS may approve access to the CFOI microdata research file of individual fatality cases. These data are collected under a pledge of confidentiality and therefore protected under the Confidential Information Protection and Statistical Efficiency Act of 2002 (CIPSEA). The CFOI microdata research file is available only to researchers who agree to protect the confidentiality of the data. In addition, proposed projects must have a well-defined research question of scientific merit that is of a purely statistical nature. Final approval for access rests with the BLS Commissioner. More information on the restricted data file is available at


Articles and detailed tables containing both national and state data are published regularly in the BLS online publications, Beyond the Numbers (BTN), Monthly Labor Review (MLR), The Economics Daily (TED), and other publications. There are also some articles in the no-longer-published Compensation and Working Conditions.

A list of some of the articles, additional fact sheets, as well as archived special studies and compendiums with both Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses and CFOI data, can be found on the Injuries, Illnesses, and Fatalities (IFF) publications page.

Data correction

The IIF program has procedures to promptly address statistical products that contain previously unrecognized errors. Statistical products include tabulations, analyses, graphical depictions, or other statistical reports. These procedures promote objectivity and transparency, and align with the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) guidelines as well as with the BLS Commissioner’s Orders on correcting published and unpublished errors to data an analyses.

IIF will never knowingly release erroneous data. Data that have not yet been released to the public will be corrected before it is released publicly, if possible. If corrections cannot be made in time for a scheduled release, data errors will be suppressed. If the error is substantial, a re-release of the data will be scheduled and IIF will inform the public.

For publishing errors, such as an incorrect statement or figure, or estimation errors, IIF will evaluate the impact of an error based on the following factors:

  • Currency: How recent are the data that are affected?
  • Prevalence: How many data points are affected in the correction?
  • Extent: Where are all the places that corrections are needed? How many products are affected?
  • Prominence: Is the error a headline or frequently cited figure? Do others use the affected data points in their work?
  • Sensitivity: Is the affected data considered “sensitive” in any way?
  • Magnitude: How much do the published and correct values differ? Is the change statistically significant? Would data users perceive it as significant?

All errors will be noted and archived on the BLS errata page and posted for at least 60 days on the IIF website banner. Substantial errors require that affected product(s) are re-released with corrections, and a note with the correction date is included in the product for user reference. Unsubstantial errors will have a note appended to the product noting the errata and the date it was discovered.

IIF evaluates all errata for lessons that can be learned from the issue and makes procedural, systems, or administrative changes accordingly to mitigate future incidents.


⁠⁠⁠1 Data before 2015 were released twice for each reference year. The first publication was preliminary data released about 9 months after the reference period, followed by a revised and final release of the data about 16 months after the end of the reference period, or about 7 months after the preliminary data. Beginning with the 2015 reference year, final data from the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI) will be released in December—4 months earlier than in past years.

Last Modified Date: December 08, 2020