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News Release Information

19-1273-PHI
Tuesday, July 09, 2019

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Fatal Occupational Injuries in West Virginia — 2017

Fatal work injuries totaled 51 in 2017 for West Virginia, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Sheila Watkins, the Bureau’s regional commissioner, noted that the number of work-related fatalities in West Virginia increased from 47 in the previous year. Fatal occupational injuries in the state have ranged from a high of 95 in 2010 to a low of 35 in 2015. (See chart 1.)

Nationwide, a total of 5,147 fatal work injuries were recorded in 2017, down slightly from the 5,190 fatal injuries reported in 2016, according to the results from the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI) program.

Type of incident

In West Virginia, transportation incidents resulted in 19 fatal work injuries and falls, slips, or trips accounted for 11 fatalities. These two major categories accounted for 59 percent of all workplace fatalities in the state. (See table 1.) The number of worker deaths from transportation incidents rose from 14 in 2016, and worker fatalities due to falls, slips, or trips increased from 8.

Contact with objects and equipment was the third-most frequent fatal work event in the state with nine fatalities, closely followed by exposure to harmful substances or environments with eight. Fatalities due to contact with objects and equipment increased over the year from 7, while fatalities due to exposure to harmful substances or environments decreased from 11.

Nationally, transportation incidents remained the most frequent fatal workplace event in 2017, accounting for 40 percent of fatal work injuries. (See chart 2.) Falls, slips, or trips was the second-most common fatal event (17 percent), followed by violence and other injuries by persons or animals (16 percent).

Industry

The private mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction industry and the private transportation and warehousing industry had the largest numbers of fatalities in West Virginia with 12 each. (See table 2.) Mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction industry fatalities were up from five in the previous year, while those in the transportation and warehousing industry remained unchanged from 2016. Coal mining accounted for 8 of the 12 fatal incidents in the mining sector, while specialized freight trucking accounted for the 7 of the 12 fatalities in the transportation sector.

The most frequent event in both the private mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction industry and the private transportation and warehousing industry was transportation incidents causing four and nine of the fatalities in these industries, respectively.

Occupation

Transportation and material moving occupations and construction and extraction occupations had the highest number of workplace fatalities with 17 and 14, respectively. (See table 3.) The majority of the fatalities within the transportation and material moving group were heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers (12). In the construction and extraction group, construction trades workers accounted for six of the fatal injuries, followed by supervisors of construction trades and extraction workers with five fatalities.

Contracted Workers

A contractor is defined as a worker employed by one firm but working at the behest of another firm that exercises overall responsibility for the operations at the site of the fatal injury. In 2017, West Virginia had eight fatally-injured workers identified as fitting the contractor criteria; of those, half were the result of a fall, slip, or trip.

Additional highlights:

  • Men accounted for 96 percent of the work-related fatalities in West Virginia, comparable to the 93-percent national share. (See table 4.) The most frequent fatal event for men was transportation incidents (18), followed by falls, slips or trips (11).
  • White, non-Hispanic workers accounted for 90 percent of those who died from a workplace injury. Nationwide, this group accounted for 67 percent of work-related deaths.
  • Workers 25-54 years old accounted for 71 percent of the state’s work-related fatalities in 2017, higher than the 55 percent of on-the-job fatalities nationally.
  • Of the 51 fatally-injured workers in West Virginia, 84 percent worked for wages and salaries; the remainder were self-employed. Transportation incidents accounted for 40 percent of the fatalities to wage and salary workers.

Technical Note

Background of the program. The Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI), part of the BLS Occupational Safety and Health Statistics (OSHS) program, compiles a count of all fatal work injuries occurring in the U.S. during the calendar year. The CFOI program uses diverse state, federal, and independent data sources to identify, verify, and describe fatal work injuries. This ensures counts are as complete and accurate as possible. Nationwide, for the 2017 data, over 23,400 unique source documents were reviewed as part of the data collection process. For technical information and definitions for CFOI, please go to the BLS Handbook of Methods on the BLS website at www.bls.gov/opub/hom/cfoi/home.htm.

Federal/State agency coverage. The CFOI includes data for all fatal work injuries, even those that may be outside the scope of other agencies or 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. More on the scope of CFOI can be found at www.bls.gov/iif/cfoiscope.htm and www.bls.gov/opub/hom/cfoi/concepts.htm.

Acknowledgments. BLS 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.

Information in this release is available to sensory-impaired individuals. Voice phone: (202) 691-5200; Federal Relay Service: (800) 877-8339.

Table 1. Fatal occupational injuries by event or exposure, West Virginia, 2016–17
Event or exposure (1)20162017
NumberNumberPercent

Total

4751100

Transportation incidents

141937

Aircraft incidents

124

Aircraft crash during takeoff or landing

124

Aircraft crash during takeoff or landing--into structure, object, or ground

124

Rail vehicle incidents

112

Pedestrian vehicular incident

136

Pedestrian struck by vehicle in nonroadway area

--24

Pedestrian struck by vehicle backing up in nonroadway area

--12

Roadway incidents involving motorized land vehicle

91224

Roadway collision with other vehicle

3510

Roadway collision moving in opposite directions, oncoming

112

Roadway collision moving perpendicularly

--12

Roadway collision moving and standing vehicle in roadway

--36

Roadway collision with object other than vehicle

4714

Vehicle struck object or animal on side of roadway

3612

Nonroadway incident involving motorized land vehicle

--12

Nonroadway noncollision incident

--12

Jack-knifed or overturned, nonroadway

--12

Fire or explosion

348

Fire

--12

Other structural fire without collapse

--12

Explosion

136

Explosion of nonpressurized vapors, gases, or liquids

--24

Explosion of pressure vessel, piping, or tire

112

Fall, slip, trip

81122

Fall on same level

--48

Fall onto or against object on same level, n.e.c.

--12

Fall to lower level

8612

Fall through surface or existing opening

--12

Fall through surface or existing opening 16 to 20 feet

--12

Other fall to lower level

548

Jump to lower level

--12

Other jump to lower level

--12

Other jump to lower level 11 to 15 feet

--12

Exposure to harmful substances or environments

11816

Exposure to other harmful substances

10816

Nonmedical use of drugs or alcohol unintentional overdose

9510

Inhalation of harmful substance

--36

Inhalation of harmful substance single episode

--36

Contact with objects and equipment

7918

Struck by object or equipment

5816

Struck by powered vehicle nontransport

--12

Caught between rolling powered vehicle and other object

--12

Struck by falling object or equipment

3612

Footnotes:
(1) Based on the BLS Occupational Injury and Illness Classification System (OIICS) 2.01 implemented for 2011 data forward.

NOTE: Data for all years are final. Totals for major categories may include subcategories not shown separately. Percentages may not add to totals because of rounding. CFOI fatality counts exclude illness-related deaths unless precipitated by an injury event. Dashes indicate no data reported or data that do not meet publication criteria.

Table 2. Fatal occupational injuries by industry, West Virginia, 2016–17
Industry (1)20162017
NumberNumberPercent

Total

4751100

Private industry

444792

Goods producing

152345

Natural resources and mining

81631

Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting

348

Forestry and logging

--48

Logging

--36

Logging

--36

Mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction (2)

51224

Mining (except oil and gas)

4816

Coal mining

4816

Coal mining

4816

Bituminous coal and lignite surface mining

--24

Bituminous coal underground mining

4612

Support activities for mining

--48

Support activities for mining

--48

Support activities for mining

--48

Support activities for oil and gas operations

--48

Construction

6612

Heavy and civil engineering construction

236

Utility system construction

236

Manufacturing

--12

Paper manufacturing

--12

Pulp, paper, and paperboard mills

--12

Paper mills

--12

Paper (except newsprint) mills

--12

Service providing

292447

Trade, transportation, and utilities

171529

Retail trade

3----

Nonstore retailers

--12

Direct selling establishments

--12

Fuel dealers

--12

Transportation and warehousing

121224

Air transportation

--24

Scheduled air transportation

--24

Scheduled air transportation

--24

Scheduled freight air transportation

--24

Truck transportation

8918

Specialized freight trucking

3714

Specialized freight (except used goods) trucking, local

248

Specialized freight (except used goods) trucking, long-distance

--36

Professional and business services

536

Administrative and support and waste management and remediation services

3----

Waste management and remediation services

--12

Waste treatment and disposal

--12

Waste treatment and disposal

--12

Hazardous waste treatment and disposal

--12

Government (3)

348

State government

124

Goods producing

124

Construction

124

Heavy and civil engineering construction

124

Highway, street, and bridge construction

124

Highway, street, and bridge construction

124

Local government

------

Service providing

------

Public administration

--12

Justice, public order, and safety activities

--12

Justice, public order, and safety activities

--12

Police protection

--12

Footnotes:
(1) Industry data are based on the North American Industry Classification System, 2012.
(2) Includes fatal injuries at all establishments categorized as Mining (Sector 21) in the North American Industry Classification System, 2012, including establishments not governed by the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) rules and reporting, such as those in Oil and Gas Extraction.
(3) Includes fatal injuries to workers employed by governmental organizations regardless of industry.

NOTE: Data for all years are final. Totals for major categories may include subcategories not shown separately. Percentages may not add to totals because of rounding. CFOI fatality counts exclude illness-related deaths unless precipitated by an injury event. Dashes indicate no data reported or data that do not meet publication criteria.

Table 3. Fatal occupational injuries by occupation, West Virginia, 2016–17
Occupation (1)20162017
NumberNumberPercent

Total

4751100

Management, business, science, and arts occupations

--510

Professional and related occupations

--510

Computer, engineering, and science occupations

--12

Architecture and engineering occupations

--12

Engineers

--12

Civil engineers

--12

Civil engineers

--12

Healthcare practitioners and technical occupations

--36

Other healthcare practitioners and technical occupations

--24

Occupational health and safety specialists and technicians

--24

Occupational health and safety specialists

--12

Occupational health and safety technicians

--12

Service occupations

848

Protective service occupations

--12

First-line supervisors/managers, protective service workers

--12

First-line supervisors/managers, law enforcement workers

--12

First-line supervisors/managers of police and detectives

--12

Natural resources, construction, and maintenance occupations

162141

Farming, fishing, and forestry occupations

--36

Forest, conservation, and logging workers

--36

Logging workers

--36

Fallers

--36

Construction and extraction occupations

111427

Supervisors of construction and extraction workers

4510

First-line supervisors/managers of construction trades and extraction workers

4510

First-line supervisors of construction trades and extraction workers

4510

Construction trades workers

5612

Construction equipment operators

--36

Operating engineers and other construction equipment operators

--36

Extraction workers

124

Mining machine operators

--24

Continuous mining machine operators

--12

Installation, maintenance, and repair occupations

348

Vehicle and mobile equipment mechanics, installers, and repairers

336

Production, transportation, and material moving occupations

181937

Production occupations

--24

Metal workers and plastic workers

--12

Welding, soldering, and brazing workers

--12

Welders, cutters, solderers, and brazers

--12

Plant and system operators

--12

Miscellaneous plant and system operators

--12

Transportation and material moving occupations

171733

Air transportation workers

124

Aircraft pilots and flight engineers

124

Airline pilots, copilots, and flight engineers

--24

Motor vehicle operators

111224

Driver/sales workers and truck drivers

101224

Heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers

91224

Material moving workers

--36

Industrial truck and tractor operators

--12

Industrial truck and tractor operators

--12

Shuttle car operators

112

Mine shuttle car operators

112

Footnotes:
(1) Occupation data are based on the Standard Occupational Classification system, 2010.

NOTE: Data for all years are final. Totals for major categories may include subcategories not shown separately. Percentages may not add to totals because of rounding. CFOI fatality counts exclude illness-related deaths unless precipitated by an injury event. Dashes indicate no data reported or data that do not meet publication criteria.

Table 4. Fatal occupational injuries by selected demographic characteristics, West Virginia, 2016–17
Worker characteristics20162017
NumberNumberPercent

Total

4751100

Employee status

Wage and salary workers (1)

414384

Self-employed (2)

6816

Gender

Men

434996

Age (3)

18 to 19 years

--24

20 to 24 years

--12

25 to 34 years

5918

35 to 44 years

181224

45 to 54 years

141529

55 to 64 years

7816

65 years and over

--48

Race or ethnic origin (4)

White (non-Hispanic)

444690

Black or African-American (non-Hispanic)

--36

Footnotes:
(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) Information may not be available for all age groups.
(4) Persons identified as Hispanic or Latino may be of any race. The race categories shown exclude Hispanic and Latino workers.

NOTE: Data for all years are final. Totals for major categories may include subcategories not shown separately. Percentages may not add to totals because of rounding. CFOI fatality counts exclude illness-related deaths unless precipitated by an injury event. Dashes indicate no data reported or data that do not meet publication criteria.

 

Last Modified Date: Tuesday, July 09, 2019