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17-458-PHI
Thursday, April 20, 2017

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Fatal Work Injuries in West Virginia — 2015

Fatal work injuries totaled 35 in 2015 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 was lower than the 38 fatalities 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 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.

Type of incident

In West Virginia, transportation incidents resulted in 17 fatal work injuries and contact with objects and equipment accounted for 8 fatalities. These two major categories accounted for 71 percent of all workplace fatalities in the state. (See table 1.) The number of worker deaths from transportation incidents rose from 12 in 2014 and worker fatalities due to contact with objects and equipment remained the same over the year.

Falls, slips, or trips and exposure to harmful substances or environments were tied as the third-most frequent fatal work events in the state with four fatalities each. Fatalities due to falls, slips, or trips decreased from 10 in 2014, while the count due to exposure to harmful substances or environments remained unchanged.

Nationally, transportation incidents was the most frequent fatal workplace event in 2015, accounting for approximately 42 percent of fatal work injuries. (See chart 2.) Falls, slips, or trips was the second-most frequent type of event, with 17 percent of work-related fatalities, followed by contact with objects and equipment (15 percent) and violence and other injuries by persons or animals (15 percent).

Industry

The private agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting industry, along with the private construction industry and the government sector had the largest number of fatalities in West Virginia with six each. (See table 2.) Together, these three sectors accounted for over half of the worker deaths in the state in 2015.

Contact with objects and equipment was the most frequent fatal event in the private agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting industry, while transportation incidents was the most frequent event in the government sector, each accounting for five of their six fatalities, respectively.

Occupation

Transportation and material moving occupations and construction and extraction occupations had the highest number of workplace fatalities with 12 and 7, respectively. (See table 3.) The majority of the fatalities within the transportation and material moving group were heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers, with eight worker deaths.

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, West Virginia had six fatally-injured workers identified as fitting the contracted worker criteria; of those, half were contracted by firms in the mining, quarrying and oil and gas extraction industry.

Additional highlights:

  • Men accounted for 94 percent of the work-related fatalities in West Virginia, similar to the 93-percent national share. (See table 4.)
  • Transportation incidents made up 45 percent of these fatalities.
  • White, non-Hispanic workers accounted for 94 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 46 percent of the state’s work-related fatalities in 2015, compared to 57 percent of on-the-job fatalities nationally.
  • Of the 35 fatally-injured workers in West Virginia, 89 percent worked for wages and salaries; the remainder were self-employed. The most frequent fatal event for wage and salary workers was transportation incidents.

Change in the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI) News Release Schedule

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 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, 2014-15
Event or exposure (1) 2014 2015
Number Number Percent

Total

38 35 100

Transportation incidents

12 17 49

Pedestrian vehicular incident

3 2 6

Pedestrian struck by vehicle in work zone

- 2 6

Pedestrian struck by vehicle propelled by another vehicle in work zone

- 1 3

Pedestrian struck by forward-moving vehicle in work zone

- 1 3

Roadway incident involving motorized land vehicle

8 14 40

Roadway collision with other vehicle

2 4 11

Roadway collision moving in opposite directions, oncoming

- 1 3

Roadway collision moving and standing vehicle in roadway

- 1 3

Roadway collision with object other than vehicle

4 5 14

Vehicle struck object or animal on side of roadway

4 5 14

Roadway noncollision incident

2 5 14

Jack-knifed or overturned, roadway

2 3 9

Fall, slip, trip

10 4 11

Fall on same level

- 1 3

Fall to lower level

8 - -

Fall through surface or existing opening

1 1 3

Fall through surface or existing opening 11 to 15 feet

- 1 3

Exposure to harmful substances or environments

4 4 11

Contact with objects and equipment

8 8 23

Struck by object or equipment

5 8 23

Struck by falling object or equipment

3 6 17

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 revised and final. Totals for major categories may include subcategories not shown separately. Percentages may not add to totals because of rounding. CFOI fatal injury 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, 2014-15
Industry (1) 2014 2015
Number Number Percent

Total

38 35 100

Private industry

37 29 83

Goods producing

17 17 49

Natural resources and mining

10 8 23

Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting

4 6 17

Forestry and logging

1 5 14

Logging

1 5 14

Logging

1 5 14

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

6 2 6

Mining (except oil and gas)

5 1 3

Coal mining

5 1 3

Coal mining

5 1 3

Bituminous coal underground mining

5 1 3

Support activities for mining

1 1 3

Support activities for mining

1 1 3

Support activities for mining

1 1 3

Support activities for oil and gas operations

- 1 3

Construction

5 6 17

Construction of buildings

- 1 3

Residential building construction

- 1 3

Residential building construction

- 1 3

Residential remodelers

- 1 3

Heavy and civil engineering construction

3 4 11

Utility system construction

2 2 6

Oil and gas pipeline and related structures construction

- 1 3

Power and communication line and related structures construction

2 1 3

Highway, street, and bridge construction

1 2 6

Highway, street, and bridge construction

1 2 6

Manufacturing

- 3 9

Service providing

20 12 34

Trade, transportation, and utilities

11 8 23

Wholesale trade

- - -

Merchant wholesalers, nondurable goods

- 1 3

Petroleum and petroleum products merchant wholesalers

- 1 3

Petroleum bulk stations and terminals

- 1 3

Retail trade

- 1 3

Building material and garden equipment and supplies dealers

- 1 3

Building material and supplies dealers

- 1 3

Transportation and warehousing

8 5 14

Truck transportation

5 5 14

General freight trucking

- 4 11

General freight trucking, long-distance

1 4 11

Information

1 3 9

Telecommunications

- 3 9

Wired telecommunications carriers

- 3 9

Wired telecommunications carriers

- 3 9

Government (3)

1 6 17

State government

- 2 6

Goods producing

- 2 6

Construction

- 2 6

Heavy and civil engineering construction

- 2 6

Highway, street, and bridge construction

- 2 6

Highway, street, and bridge construction

- 2 6

Local government

1 3 9

Service providing

1 3 9

Public administration

1 - -

Executive, legislative, and other general government support

- 1 3

Executive, legislative, and other general government support

- 1 3

Footnotes:
(1) Industry data are based on the North American Industry Classification System, 2012.
(2) Includes fatal injuries at all establishments categorized as Mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction (Sector 21) in the North American Industry Classification System, 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 revised and final. Totals for major categories may include subcategories not shown separately. Percentages may not add to totals because of rounding. CFOI fatal injury 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, 2014-15
Occupation (1) 2014 2015
Number Number Percent

Total

38 35 100

Management, business, science, and arts occupations

5 4 11

Management occupations

- - -

Other management occupations

- - -

Construction managers

- 1 3

Construction managers

- 1 3

Computer, engineering, and science occupations

- 1 3

Architecture and engineering occupations

- 1 3

Engineers

- 1 3

Mechanical engineers

- 1 3

Mechanical engineers

- 1 3

Service occupations

3 3 9

Protective service occupations

2 - -

Other protective service workers

1 1 3

Miscellaneous protective service workers

- 1 3

Crossing guards

- 1 3

Building and grounds cleaning and maintenance occupations

1 1 3

Grounds maintenance workers

1 1 3

Grounds maintenance workers

1 1 3

Landscaping and groundskeeping workers

- 1 3

Natural resources, construction, and maintenance occupations

14 15 43

Farming, fishing, and forestry occupations

- 4 11

Forest, conservation, and logging workers

- 3 9

Logging workers

- 3 9

Fallers

- 3 9

Construction and extraction occupations

10 7 20

Supervisors of construction and extraction workers

- 3 9

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

- 3 9

First-line supervisors of construction trades and extraction workers

- 3 9

Construction trades workers

- 3 9

Construction equipment operators

- 1 3

Operating engineers and other construction equipment operators

- 1 3

Extraction workers

5 1 3

Derrick, rotary drill, and service unit operators, oil, gas, and mining

- 1 3

Rotary drill operators, oil and gas

- 1 3

Installation, maintenance, and repair occupations

2 4 11

Other installation, maintenance, and repair occupations

2 4 11

Control and valve installers and repairers

- 1 3

Mechanical door repairers

- 1 3

Production, transportation, and material moving occupations

14 12 34

Transportation and material moving occupations

13 12 34

Motor vehicle operators

9 10 29

Driver/sales workers and truck drivers

9 10 29

Heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers

7 8 23

Other transportation workers

- 1 3

Parking lot attendants

- 1 3

Parking lot attendants

- 1 3

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

Note: Data for all years are revised and final. Totals for major categories may include subcategories not shown separately. Percentages may not add to totals because of rounding. CFOI fatal injury 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 worker characteristics, West Virginia, 2014-15
Worker characteristics 2014 2015
Number Number Percent

Total

38 35 100

Employee status

 

Wage and salary workers (1)

35 31 89

Self-employed (2)

3 4 11

Gender

 

Men

36 33 94

Age

 

18 to 19 years

- 1 3

20 to 24 years

3 3 9

25 to 34 years

6 3 9

35 to 44 years

6 4 11

45 to 54 years

11 9 26

55 to 64 years

6 9 26

65 years and over

6 6 17

Race or ethnic origin (3)

 

White (non-Hispanic)

36 33 94

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) Persons identified as Hispanic or Latino may be of any race. The race categories shown exclude data for Hispanics and Latinos.

Note: Data for all years are revised and final. Totals for major categories may include subcategories not shown separately. Percentages may not add to totals because of rounding. CFOI fatal injury 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