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News Release Information

21-563-PHI
Tuesday, March 23, 2021

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Fatal Work Injuries in Pennsylvania — 2019

Fatal work injuries totaled 154 in 2019 for Pennsylvania, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Acting Regional Commissioner Frank Waligorski noted that the number of work-related fatalities in Pennsylvania was down from the previous year. Fatal occupational injuries in the state have ranged from a high of 354 in 1994 to a low of 154 in 2019. (See chart 1.)

Nationwide, a total of 5,333 fatal work injuries were recorded in 2019, a 2-percent increase from the 5,250 in 2018, according to the results from the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI) program. The 5,333 fatal occupational injuries in 2019 represents the largest annual number since 2007.   

Fatal event or exposure

In Pennsylvania, transportation incidents resulted in 62 fatal work injuries and contact with objects and equipment accounted for 32 fatalities. These two major categories accounted for 61 percent of all workplace fatalities in the state. (See table 1.) Worker deaths from transportation incidents were up from 53 over the year and worker fatalities due to contact with objects and equipment were down from 41.

Exposure to harmful substances or environments was the third-most frequent fatal work event with 22 fatalities, down from 28 in the prior year. Violence and other injuries by persons or animals resulted in 21 work-related deaths, the same as in 2018.

Nationally, transportation incidents were the most frequent fatal workplace event in 2019, accounting for 40 percent of fatal work injuries. (See chart 2.) Falls, slips, and 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 construction industry and private transportation and warehousing industry had the highest number of fatalities in Pennsylvania with 26 each. (See table 2.) Exposure to harmful substances or environments accounted for 7 of the 26 fatalities in the construction industry while transportation incidents resulted in 18 of the 26 fatalities in the transportation and warehousing industry.

The private administrative and support and waste management and remediation services industry had 20 workplace fatalities, 10 of them due to transportation incidents.

Occupation

The transportation and material moving occupational group had the highest number of workplace fatalities with 53. (See table 3.) Motor vehicle operators accounted for 35 of the 53 fatalities among transportation and material moving workers. The construction and extraction occupational group had the second highest number of workplace fatalities with 32. Construction trades workers suffered 21 of the work-related deaths within the construction and extraction group. Installation, maintenance, and repair occupations had 11 workplace fatalities. Vehicle and mobile equipment mechanics, installers, and repairers accounted for 8 of the 11 fatalities among installation, maintenance, and repair workers.

Additional highlights:

  • Men accounted for 91 percent of the work-related fatalities in Pennsylvania, similar to the national share. (See table 4.) Transportation incidents made up 41 percent of the fatalities for men in Pennsylvania.
  • White non-Hispanics accounted for 79 percent of those who died from a workplace injury. Nationwide, this group accounted for 62 percent of work-related deaths.
  • Workers 55 years old and over accounted for 42 percent of the state’s work-related fatalities in 2019, compared to 38 percent of on-the-job fatalities nationally.
  • Of the 154 fatal work injuries in Pennsylvania, 83 percent worked for wages and salaries; the remainder were self-employed. The most frequent fatal event for both groups of workers was transportation incidents.

Changes in Industry and Occupation Classification Structure

Information in this release incorporates revisions to both the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) and the Standard Occupational Classification codes (SOC). Comparison of data for 2019 to prior years should be done with caution due to these changes, and thus analysis in this release is limited to 2019 for industries and occupations. More information on NAICS can be found at www.bls.gov/bls/naics.htm. More information on SOC can be found at www.bls.gov/soc/2018/home.htm.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic Impact on the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries

Data in this news release are for reference year 2019. No changes in collection procedures or outputs were necessary due to COVID-19. Additional information is available at www.bls.gov/covid19/effects-of-covid-19-on-workplace-injuries-and-illnesses-compensation-and-occupational-requirements.htm.


Technical Note

Background of the program. 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 fatal work 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 2019 national data, over 25,100 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 www.bls.gov/opub/hom/cfoi/home.htm and the CFOI definitions at www.bls.gov/iif/oshcfdef.htm.

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 www.bls.gov/iif/cfoiscope.htm and www.bls.gov/opub/hom/cfoi/concepts.htm.

Acknowledgments. BLS thanks the Pennsylvania Department of Health 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.

Information in this release will be made available to individuals with sensory impairments upon request. Voice phone: (202) 691-5200; Federal Relay Service: (800) 877-8339.

Table 1. Fatal occupational injuries by event or exposure, Pennsylvania, 2018–19
Event or exposure (1) 2018 2019
Number Number Percent

Total

177 154 100

Violence and other injuries by persons or animals

21 21 14

Intentional injury by person

18 19 12

Intentional injury by other person

10 7 5

Shooting by other person--intentional

6 6 4

Stabbing, cutting, slashing, piercing

1 1 1

Self-inflicted injury--intentional

8 12 8

Shooting--intentional self-harm

3 4 3

Hanging, strangulation, asphyxiation--intentional self-harm

3 6 4

Injury by person--unintentional or intent unknown

1 1 1

Injury by other person--unintentional or intent unknown

1 1 1

Shooting by other person--unintentional

1 1 1

Animal and insect related incidents

-- 1 1

Struck by animal

-- 1 1

Trampled by or stepped on by animal

-- 1 1

Transportation incidents

53 62 40

Aircraft incidents

3 1 1

Other in-flight crash

-- 1 1

Other in-flight crash into structure, object, or ground

-- 1 1

Rail vehicle incidents

-- 1 1

Pedestrian struck by rail vehicle--transportation incident

-- 1 1

Animal and other non-motorized vehicle transportation incidents

4 1 1

Animal transportation incident

3 1 1

Pedestrian vehicular incident

14 15 10

Pedestrian struck by vehicle in work zone

-- 2 1

Pedestrian struck by vehicle backing up in work zone

-- 2 1

Pedestrian struck by vehicle in roadway

2 4 3

Pedestrian struck by vehicle on side of road

3 1 1

Pedestrian struck by forward-moving vehicle on side of road

3 1 1

Pedestrian struck by vehicle in nonroadway area

6 7 5

Pedestrian struck by vehicle propelled by another vehicle in nonroadway area

-- 1 1

Pedestrian struck by vehicle backing up in nonroadway area

-- 3 2

Roadway incidents involving motorized land vehicle

28 34 22

Roadway collision with other vehicle

13 13 8

Roadway collision--moving in same direction

-- 4 3

Roadway collision--moving in opposite directions, oncoming

8 5 3

Roadway collision with object other than vehicle

14 13 8

Vehicle struck object or animal on side of roadway

13 13 8

Roadway noncollision incident

1 8 5

Jack-knifed or overturned, roadway

-- 7 5

Fall or jump from vehicle in normal operation, roadway

-- 1 1

Nonroadway incident involving motorized land vehicles

4 9 6

Nonroadway noncollision incident

3 6 4

Jack-knifed or overturned, nonroadway

-- 4 3

Falls, slips, trips

24 16 10

Falls to lower level

21 13 8

Fall through surface or existing opening

1 5 3

Fall through surface or existing opening more than 30 feet

-- 1 1

Other fall to lower level

18 8 5

Exposure to harmful substances or environments

28 22 14

Exposure to electricity

7 3 2

Direct exposure to electricity

3 1 1

Direct exposure to electricity, greater than 220 volts

-- 1 1

Exposure to other harmful substances

17 14 9

Nonmedical use of drugs or alcohol--unintentional overdose

16 12 8

Exposure to oxygen deficiency, n.e.c.

-- 4 3

Contact with objects and equipment

41 32 21

Struck by object or equipment

30 22 14

Struck by powered vehicle--nontransport

11 6 4

Struck or run over by rolling powered vehicle

2 3 2

Struck by other falling powered vehicle

4 1 1

Struck by rolling object or equipment--other than powered vehicle

-- 1 1

Struck by falling object or equipment--other than powered vehicle

15 11 7

Struck by object falling from vehicle or machinery--other than vehicle part

5 1 1

Struck by discharged or flying object

2 1 1

Caught in or compressed by equipment or objects

6 7 5

Caught in running equipment or machinery

4 5 3

Caught in running equipment or machinery during regular operation

-- 3 2

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

5 3 2

Mine collapse or cave-in

-- 1 1

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

4 2 1

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. For complete information on how the data are coded and presented see our definitions page at https://www.bls.gov/iif/oshcfdef.htm. Dashes indicate no data reported or data that do not meet publication criteria. CFOI fatal injury counts exclude illness-related deaths unless precipitated by an injury event.

Table 2. Fatal occupational injuries by industry, Pennsylvania, 2019
Industry (1) Number Percent

Total

154 100

Private industry (2)

144 94

Goods producing

-- --

Natural resources and mining

19 12

Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting

13 8

Animal production and aquaculture

7 5

Cattle ranching and farming

6 4

Dairy cattle and milk production

6 4

Sheep and goat farming

1 1

Mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction (3)

6 4

Mining (except oil and gas)

3 2

Coal mining

3 2

Coal mining

3 2

Support activities for mining

3 2

Support activities for mining

3 2

Support activities for mining

3 2

Support activities for oil and gas operations

3 2

Construction

26 17

Construction

26 17

Heavy and civil engineering construction

4 3

Service providing (4)

-- --

Trade, transportation, and utilities

40 26

Wholesale trade

10 6

Merchant wholesalers, durable goods

6 4

Merchant wholesalers, nondurable goods

4 3

Retail trade

4 3

Transportation and warehousing

26 17

Truck transportation

17 11

General freight trucking

11 7

General freight trucking, long-distance

11 7

General freight trucking, long-distance, truckload

7 5

Specialized freight trucking

6 4

Specialized freight (except used goods) trucking, local

3 2

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

3 2

Transit and ground passenger transportation

1 1

Warehousing and storage

2 1

Warehousing and storage

2 1

General warehousing and storage

2 1

Professional and business services

23 15

Professional, scientific, and technical services

3 2

Professional, scientific, and technical services

3 2

Advertising, public relations, and related services

1 1

Outdoor advertising

1 1

Administrative and support and waste management and remediation services

20 13

Administrative and support services

13 8

Waste management and remediation services

7 5

Educational and health services

5 3

Educational services

1 1

Educational services

1 1

Health care and social assistance

4 3

Leisure and hospitality

9 6

Arts, entertainment, and recreation

4 3

Performing arts, spectator sports, and related industries

3 2

Promoters of performing arts, sports, and similar events

1 1

Promoters of performing arts, sports, and similar events with facilities

1 1

Amusement, gambling, and recreation industries

1 1

Other amusement and recreation industries

1 1

Golf courses and country clubs

1 1

Accommodation and food services

5 3

Other services, except public administration

6 4

Other services, except public administration

6 4

Government (5)

10 6

State government

2 1

Local government

8 5

Footnotes:
(1) CFOI has used several versions of the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) since 2003 to define industry. For complete information on the version of NAICS used in this year, see our definitions page at https://www.bls.gov/iif/oshcfdef.htm.
(2) Cases where ownership is unknown are included in private industry counts.
(3) Includes fatal injuries at all establishments categorized as Mining (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.
(4) Cases where industry is unknown are included in the service sector counts.
(5) Includes fatal injuries to workers employed by governmental organizations regardless of industry. Cases classified as foreign government and other government are included in all government counts, but not displayed separately.

NOTE: Data for all years are final. Totals for major categories may include subcategories not shown separately. For complete information on how the data are coded and presented see our definitions page at https://www.bls.gov/iif/oshcfdef.htm. Dashes indicate no data reported or data that do not meet publication criteria. CFOI fatal injury counts exclude illness-related deaths unless precipitated by an injury event.

Table 3. Fatal occupational injuries by occupation, Pennsylvania, 2019
Occupation (1) Number Percent

Total

154 100

Management occupations

8 5

Other management occupations

6 4

Farmers, ranchers, and other agricultural managers

6 4

Farmers, ranchers, and other agricultural managers

6 4

Architecture and engineering occupations

1 1

Engineers

1 1

Civil engineers

1 1

Civil engineers

1 1

Community and social service occupations

1 1

Counselors, social workers, and other community and social service specialists

1 1

Counselors

1 1

Mental health counselors

1 1

Educational instruction and library occupations

1 1

Arts, design, entertainment, sports, and media occupations

4 3

Healthcare practitioners and technical occupations

1 1

Healthcare diagnosing or treating practitioners

1 1

Chiropractors

1 1

Chiropractors

1 1

Protective service occupations

4 3

Firefighting and prevention workers

2 1

Law enforcement workers

1 1

Police officers

1 1

Other protective service workers

1 1

Security guards and gambling surveillance officers

1 1

Security guards

1 1

Food preparation and serving related occupations

4 3

Supervisors of food preparation and serving workers

1 1

Supervisors of food preparation and serving workers

1 1

First-line supervisors of food preparation and serving workers

1 1

Other food preparation and serving related workers

1 1

Dining room and cafeteria attendants and bartender helpers

1 1

Dining room and cafeteria attendants and bartender helpers

1 1

Building and grounds cleaning and maintenance occupations

10 6

Supervisors of building and grounds cleaning and maintenance workers

4 3

First-line supervisors of building and grounds cleaning and maintenance workers

4 3

First-line supervisors of landscaping, lawn service, and groundskeeping workers

4 3

Grounds maintenance workers

6 4

Grounds maintenance workers

6 4

Landscaping and groundskeeping workers

3 2

Tree trimmers and pruners

3 2

Sales and related occupations

3 2

Supervisors of sales workers

3 2

First-line supervisors of sales workers

3 2

Office and administrative support occupations

3 2

Farming, fishing, and forestry occupations

7 5

Construction and extraction occupations

32 21

Supervisors of construction and extraction workers

7 5

First-line supervisors of construction trades and extraction workers

7 5

First-line supervisors of construction trades and extraction workers

7 5

Construction trades workers

21 14

Brickmasons, blockmasons, and stonemasons

1 1

Brickmasons and blockmasons

1 1

Construction laborers

11 7

Construction laborers

11 7

Construction equipment operators

4 3

Operating engineers and other construction equipment operators

4 3

Electricians

1 1

Electricians

1 1

Other construction and related workers

2 1

Rail-track laying and maintenance equipment operators

1 1

Rail-track laying and maintenance equipment operators

1 1

Miscellaneous construction and related workers

1 1

Installation, maintenance, and repair occupations

11 7

Supervisors of installation, maintenance, and repair workers

1 1

First-line supervisors of mechanics, installers, and repairers

1 1

First-line supervisors of mechanics, installers, and repairers

1 1

Vehicle and mobile equipment mechanics, installers, and repairers

8 5

Automotive technicians and repairers

5 3

Automotive service technicians and mechanics

5 3

Miscellaneous vehicle and mobile equipment mechanics, installers, and repairers

1 1

Other installation, maintenance, and repair occupations

2 1

Industrial machinery installation, repair, and maintenance workers

1 1

Industrial machinery mechanics

1 1

Maintenance and repair workers, general

1 1

Maintenance and repair workers, general

1 1

Production occupations

9 6

Textile, apparel, and furnishings workers

1 1

Other production occupations

4 3

Transportation and material moving occupations

53 34

Supervisors of transportation and material moving workers

2 1

First-line supervisors of transportation and material moving workers

2 1

First-line supervisors of helpers, laborers, and material movers, hand

1 1

First-line supervisors of material-moving machine and vehicle operators

1 1

Air transportation workers

1 1

Aircraft pilots and flight engineers

1 1

Commercial pilots

1 1

Motor vehicle operators

35 23

Driver/sales workers and truck drivers

30 19

Driver/sales workers

4 3

Heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers

23 15

Light truck drivers

3 2

Rail transportation workers

1 1

Miscellaneous rail transportation workers

1 1

Water transportation workers

1 1

Sailors and marine oilers

1 1

Sailors and marine oilers

1 1

Material moving workers

13 8

Industrial truck and tractor operators

1 1

Industrial truck and tractor operators

1 1

Laborers and material movers

9 6

Laborers and freight, stock, and material movers, hand

8 5

Stockers and order fillers

1 1

Pumping station operators

1 1

Wellhead pumpers

1 1

Refuse and recyclable material collectors

1 1

Refuse and recyclable material collectors

1 1

Miscellaneous material moving workers

1 1

Footnotes:
(1) CFOI has used several versions of the Standard Occupation Classification (SOC) system since 2003 to define occupation. For complete information on the version of SOC used in this year, see our definitions page at https://www.bls.gov/iif/oshcfdef.htm. Cases where occupation is unknown are included in the total.

NOTE: Data for all years are final. Totals for major categories may include subcategories not shown separately. For complete information on how the data are coded and presented see our definitions page at https://www.bls.gov/iif/oshcfdef.htm. Dashes indicate no data reported or data that do not meet publication criteria. CFOI fatal injury counts exclude illness-related deaths unless precipitated by an injury event.

Table 4. Fatal occupational injuries by selected demographic characteristics, Pennsylvania, 2018–19
Worker characteristics 2018 2019
Number Number Percent

Total

177 154 100

Employee status

Wage and salary workers (1)

138 128 83

Self-employed (2)

39 26 17

Gender

Men

165 140 91

Women

12 14 9

Age (3)

Under 16 years

-- 2 1

20 to 24 years

9 7 5

25 to 34 years

48 25 16

35 to 44 years

32 26 17

45 to 54 years

28 29 19

55 to 64 years

32 37 24

65 years and over

23 27 18

Race or ethnic origin (4)

White, non-Hispanic

141 121 79

Black or African-American, non-Hispanic

17 15 10

Hispanic or Latino

10 13 8

Asian, non-Hispanic

5 5 3

Footnotes:
(1) May include volunteers and workers receiving other types of compensation. Cases where employment status is unknown are included in the counts of wage and salary workers.
(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 data for Hispanics and Latinos. Cases where ethnicity is unknown are included in counts of non-Hispanic workers.

NOTE: Data for all years are final. Totals for major categories may include subcategories not shown separately. For complete information on how the data are coded and presented see our definitions page at https://www.bls.gov/iif/oshcfdef.htm. Dashes indicate no data reported or data that do not meet publication criteria. CFOI fatal injury counts exclude illness-related deaths unless precipitated by an injury event.

 

Last Modified Date: Tuesday, March 23, 2021