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17-461-PHI
Thursday, April 20, 2017

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Fatal Work Injuries in the Washington, D.C. Area — 2015

Fatal work injuries totaled 43 in 2015 for the Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, D.C.-Va.-Md.-W.Va. Metropolitan Statistical Area, 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 the Washington metropolitan area decreased by 13 from the previous year and was the lowest level on record. Fatal occupational injuries in the metropolitan area have ranged from a high of 99 in 2005 to a low of 43 in 2015. (See chart 1.)

Nationwide, a total of 4,836 fatal work injuries were recorded in 2015, a slight increase from the 4,821 fatal injuries in 2014, according to the results from the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI) program.

 

In 2015, the Washington metropolitan area had the sixth-largest population nationally[1] and had the lowest number of work-related fatalities among the 10 largest metropolitan statistical areas in the United States. (See table 1 and chart 2.) The most populated metropolitan area in the country—New York—had the highest number of workplace fatalities (221) in 2015. The smallest of the 10 metropolitan areas—Boston—had the second-lowest fatality count with 48 deaths.

Type of incident

In the Washington metropolitan area, falls, slips, or trips was the most frequent fatal event, resulting in 11 fatal work injuries during 2015. (See table 1 and table 2.) The share of total fatalities due to falls, slips, or trips in Washington (26 percent) matched Dallas (26 percent) and was exceeded only in Los Angeles (40 percent).

Violence and other injuries by persons or animals and transportation incidents were tied for the second most frequent types of incidents in the Washington metropolitan area, each accounting for 10 fatalities. The Washington area’s share of total fatalities due to violence and other injuries by persons or animals (23 percent) ranked fifth among the 10 largest areas. Washington’s 23-percent share of total fatalities from transportation incidents ranked second-lowest among the 10 largest areas, only Chicago was lower (20 percent).

Nationally, transportation incidents was the most frequent fatal workplace event in 2015, accounting for approximately 42 percent of fatal work injuries. (See chart 3.) Falls, slips, or trips were the second-most frequent type of event, with 17 percent of work-related fatalities. Contact with objects and equipment and violence and other injuries by persons or animals were the third- and fourth-most frequent events in the nation, each representing 15 percent.

Industry

The private construction industry sector had the largest number of fatalities in the Washington metropolitan area with 12 compared to 14 in the previous year. (See table 3.) Falls to a lower level was the most frequent fatal event in the construction sector with seven worker deaths. Fifty-eight percent of those fatally injured in this sector worked in specialty trade contracting.

The private administrative and support and waste management and remediation services sector had seven workplace fatalities, followed by government with six.

Occupation

Construction and extraction occupations and transportation and material moving occupations had the highest number of workplace fatalities with 13 and 9, respectively. (See table 4.) Four of the fatalities within the construction and extraction group were construction laborers. Heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers accounted for seven of the nine fatalities among transportation and material moving workers.

Contracted Workers

A contracted worker 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 2015, the Washington metropolitan area had seven fatally-injured workers identified as fitting the contracted worker criteria; of those, two were the result of homicides.

Additional highlights

  • Men accounted for 91 percent of the work-related fatalities in the Washington metropolitan area, similar to the 93-percent national share. (See table 5.) Collectively, falls, slips, or trips and transportation incidents made up 54 percent of the fatalities for men in the Washington metropolitan area.
  • White, non-Hispanic workers accounted for 54 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 53 percent of the area’s work-related fatalities in 2015, compared to 57 percent of on-the-job fatalities nationally.
  • Of the 43 fatally-injured workers in the Washington metropolitan area, 88 percent worked for wages and salaries; the remainder were self-employed. The most frequent fatal event for wage and salary workers was violence and other injuries by persons or animals.
  • Nearly one-third of workplace fatalities in the Washington metropolitan area occurred on Thursdays. Nationwide, 16 percent of workplace fatalities occurred on Thursdays.

1 Metropolitan area populations based on 2011 estimates from the Census Bureau: http://www.census.gov/popest/data/metro/totals/2011/tables/CBSA-EST2011-05.xls

Change in the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI)

Beginning with the 2015 reference year, CFOI will publish a single, annual release with no revisions.  A similar schedule will be followed in subsequent years. Preliminary releases, which normally appeared in August or September in past years, will no longer be produced.


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. For the 2015 data, over 21,400 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 web site at www.bls.gov/opub/hom/pdf/homch9.pdf.

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.

Acknowledgments. BLS thanks the District of Columbia Department of Health; Virginia Department of Labor and Industry; and Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation 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 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.

Area definitions. The substate area data published in this release reflect the standards and definitions established by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget, dated February 28, 2013. A detailed list of the geographic definitions is available at www.bls.gov/lau/lausmsa.htm.

 

The Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, D.C.-Va.-Md.-W.Va. Metropolitan Statistical Area consists of the Silver Spring-Frederick-Rockville, Md. Metropolitan Division (MD) and the Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, D.C.-Va.-Md.-W.Va. Metropolitan Division (MD).

The Silver Spring-Frederick-Rockville, Md. MD consists of Frederick and Montgomery Counties in Maryland.

The Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, D.C.-Va.-Md.-W.Va. MD consists of the District of Columbia; Calvert, Charles, and Prince George's Counties in Maryland; Arlington, Clarke, Culpeper, Fairfax, Fauquier, Loudoun, Prince William, Rappahannock, Spotsylvania, Stafford, and Warren Counties in Virginia; Alexandria, Fairfax, Falls Church, Fredericksburg, Manassas, and Manassas Park Cities in Virginia; and Jefferson County in West Virginia.

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 selected event groups in the 10 largest metropolitan areas in 2015
Metropolitan Areas (1) Total fatalities Falls, slips, trips Transportation incidents Violence and other injuries by persons or animals Exposure to harmful substances or environments Contact with objects and equipment

United States (2)

4,836 800 2,054 703 424 722

New York-Newark-Jersey City, N.Y.-N.J.-Pa.

221 53 70 46 20 26

Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, Calif.

96 38 23 16 8 8

Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, Ill.-Ind.-Wis.

99 24 20 25 11 16

Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, Texas

78 20 31 9 5 10

Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, Texas

92 15 22 34 13 8

Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, Pa.-N.J.-Del.-Md.

70 13 22 17 7 10

Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, D.C.-Va.-Md.-W.Va.

43 11 10 10 6 6

Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach, Fla.

55 14 15 13 6 7

Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell, Ga.

94 23 28 16 15 10

Boston-Cambridge-Newton, Mass.-N.H.

48 12 14 9 7 4

Footnotes:
(1) Metropolitan areas used in this table are Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs) based on definitions from the Office of Management and Budget Bulletin Number 13-01, February 2013.
(2) Also includes fatalities occurring in nonmetropolitan areas.
 

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 event or exposure, Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV, 2014-2015
Event or exposure (1) 2014 2015
Number Number Percent

Total

56 43 100

Violence and other injuries by persons or animals

16 10 23

Intentional injury by person

16 10 23

Homicides

10 5 12

Shooting by other person—intentional

6 4 9

Multiple violent acts by other person

- 1 2

Suicides

6 5 12

Shooting—intentional self-harm

3 3 7

Jumping from building or other structure—intentional self-harm

- 1 2

Transportation incidents

16 10 23

Pedestrian vehicular incident

3 3 7

Pedestrian struck by vehicle in work zone

1 1 2

Pedestrian struck by forward-moving vehicle in work zone

- 1 2

Pedestrian struck by vehicle on side of road

1 1 2

Pedestrian struck by forward-moving vehicle on side of road

1 1 2

Roadway incident involving motorized land vehicle

6 7 16

Roadway collision with other vehicle

4 - -

Roadway collision moving in opposite directions, oncoming

- 2 5

Roadway collision with object other than vehicle

- 4 9

Vehicle struck object or animal on side of roadway

- 4 9

Fall, slip, trip

9 11 26

Fall to lower level

7 10 23

Other fall to lower level

4 9 21

Other fall to lower level less than 6 feet

- 3 7

Other fall to lower level 16 to 20 feet

- 2 5

Exposure to harmful substances or environments

4 6 14

Exposure to other harmful substances

3 4 9

Nonmedical use of drugs or alcohol unintentional overdose

- 4 9

Contact with objects and equipment

11 6 14

Struck by object or equipment

8 3 7

Struck by falling object or equipment

4 1 2

Injured by handheld object or equipment

- 1 2

Injured by slipping or swinging object held by injured worker

- 1 2

Struck by swinging or slipping object, other than handheld

- 1 2

Caught in or compressed by equipment or objects

- 1 2

Caught in running equipment or machinery

- 1 2

Caught in running equipment or machinery during maintenance, cleaning

- 1 2

Struck, caught, or crushed in collapsing structure, equipment, or material

2 1 2

Engulfment in other collapsing material

- 1 2

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 3. Fatal occupational injuries by industry, Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV, 2014-2015
Industry (1) 2014 2015
Number Number Percent

Total

56 43 100

Private industry

51 37 86

Goods-producing

16 16 37

Natural resources and mining

1 1 2

Mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction

- 1 2

Mining (except oil and gas)

- 1 2

Nonmetallic mineral mining and quarrying

- 1 2

Stone mining and quarrying

- 1 2

Crushed and broken granite mining and quarrying

- 1 2

Construction

14 12 28

Construction

14 12 28

Construction of buildings

- 3 7

Residential building construction

- 3 7

Residential building construction

- 3 7

Residential remodelers

- 1 2

Heavy and civil engineering construction

- 2 5

Utility system construction

- 1 2

Water and sewer line and related structures construction

- 1 2

Highway, street, and bridge construction

- 1 2

Highway, street, and bridge construction

- 1 2

Specialty trade contractors

13 7 16

Building finishing contractors

1 3 7

Other building finishing contractors

- 1 2

Other nonresidential building finishing contractors

- 1 2

Manufacturing

1 3 7

Manufacturing

1 3 7

Paper manufacturing

- 1 2

Converted paper product manufacturing

- 1 2

Paperboard container manufacturing

- 1 2

Corrugated and solid fiber box manufacturing

- 1 2

Petroleum and coal products manufacturing

- 1 2

Petroleum and coal products manufacturing

- 1 2

Asphalt paving, roofing, and saturated materials manufacturing

- 1 2

Asphalt shingle and coating materials manufacturing

- 1 2

Service-providing

35 21 49

Trade, transportation, and utilities

15 7 16

Wholesale trade

- - -

Merchant wholesalers, nondurable goods

- - -

Miscellaneous nondurable goods merchant wholesalers

- 1 2

Farm supplies merchant wholesalers

- 1 2

Information

- 2 5

Information

- 2 5

Publishing industries (except internet)

- 1 2

Newspaper, periodical, book, and directory publishers

- 1 2

Newspaper publishers

- 1 2

Telecommunications

- 1 2

Wired telecommunications carriers

- 1 2

Wired telecommunications carriers

- 1 2

Professional and business services

10 9 21

Professional, scientific, and technical services

3 2 5

Professional, scientific, and technical services

3 2 5

Legal services

- 2 5

Offices of lawyers

- 2 5

Administrative and support and waste management and remediation services

7 7 16

Administrative and support services

6 7 16

Investigation and security services

- 3 7

Investigation, guard, and armored car services

- 3 7

Security guards and patrol services

- 3 7

Leisure and hospitality

3 - -

Accommodation and food services

- - -

Food services and drinking places

- - -

Special food services

- 1 2

Mobile food services

- 1 2

Other services, except public administration

3 1 2

Other services, except public administration

3 1 2

Private households

- 1 2

Private households

- 1 2

Private households

- 1 2

Government (2)

5 6 14

Local government

- 5 12

Goods-producing

- 1 2

Construction

- 1 2

Construction

- 1 2

Heavy and civil engineering construction

- 1 2

Highway, street, and bridge construction

- 1 2

Highway, street, and bridge construction

- 1 2

Service-providing

- 4 9

Public administration

- 3 7

Public administration

- 3 7

Justice, public order, and safety activities

- 3 7

Justice, public order, and safety activities

- 3 7

Police protection

- 3 7

Footnotes:
(1) Industry data are based on the North American Industry Classification System, 2012.
(2) 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 4. Fatal occupational injuries by occupation, Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV, 2014-2015
Occupation (1) 2014 2015
Number Number Percent

Total

56 43 100

Legal occupations

- 2 5

Lawyers, judges, and related workers

- 2 5

Lawyers and judicial law clerks

- 2 5

Lawyers

- 2 5

Arts, design, entertainment, sports, and media occupations

- 1 2

Media and communication workers

1 1 2

News analysts, reporters and correspondents

- 1 2

Reporters and correspondents

- 1 2

Protective service occupations

- 6 14

Law enforcement workers

- 3 7

Detectives and criminal investigators

- 1 2

Detectives and criminal investigators

- 1 2

Police officers

- 2 5

Police and sheriff's patrol officers

- 2 5

Other protective service workers

- 3 7

Security guards and gaming surveillance officers

- 3 7

Security guards

- 3 7

Building and grounds cleaning and maintenance occupations

3 5 12

Building cleaning and pest control workers

- - -

Building cleaning workers

- - -

Maids and housekeeping cleaners

- 1 2

Grounds maintenance workers

3 - -

Grounds maintenance workers

3 - -

Landscaping and groundskeeping workers

- 1 2

Construction and extraction occupations

14 13 30

Supervisors of construction and extraction workers

- 1 2

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

- 1 2

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

- 1 2

Construction trades workers

11 12 28

Construction laborers

4 4 9

Construction laborers

4 4 9

Pipelayers, plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters

- 1 2

Plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters

- 1 2

Installation, maintenance, and repair occupations

- 1 2

Other installation, maintenance, and repair occupations

- 1 2

Line installers and repairers

- 1 2

Telecommunications line installers and repairers

- 1 2

Production occupations

- - -

Other production occupations

- 1 2

Crushing, grinding, polishing, mixing, and blending workers

- - -

Crushing, grinding, and polishing machine setters, operators, and tenders

- 1 2

Transportation and material moving occupations

13 9 21

Motor vehicle operators

10 8 19

Driver/sales workers and truck drivers

9 8 19

Driver/sales workers

- 1 2

Heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers

7 7 16

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 5. Fatal occupational injuries by worker characteristics, Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV, 2014-2015
Worker characteristics 2014 2015
Number Number Percent

Total

56 43 100
Employee status      

Wage and salary workers (1)

49 38 88

Self-employed (2)

7 5 12
Gender      

Men

53 39 91

Women

3 4 9
Age (3)      

18-19 years

- 1 2

20 to 24 years

3 5 12

25 to 34 years

11 8 19

35 to 44 years

10 6 14

45 to 54 years

11 9 21

55 to 64 years

11 8 19

65 and over

10 6 14
Race or ethnic origin (4)      

White, non-Hispanic

31 23 53

Black or African-American, non-Hispanic

12 12 28

Hispanic or Latino

10 8 19

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: Thursday, April 20, 2017