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19-1265-PHI
Tuesday, July 09, 2019

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Fatal Work Injuries in the Philadelphia Area — 2017

Fatal work injuries totaled 45 in 2017 for the Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, PA-NJ-DE-MD 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 Philadelphia metropolitan area decreased by seven from the previous year and reached its lowest level on record for the second straight year. Fatal occupational injuries in the metropolitan area have ranged from a high of 93 in 2004 and 2007 to a low of 45 in 2017. (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.

In 2017, the Philadelphia area had the seventh-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 (215) in 2017. The smallest of the 10 metropolitan areas—Boston—had the seventh-highest fatality count with 74 deaths.

Type of incident

In the Philadelphia metropolitan area, transportation incidents resulted in 12 fatal work injuries, followed by violence and other injuries by persons or animals and contact with objects and equipment which each accounted for 9 fatalities 2017. (See table 1 and table 2.) These three major categories accounted for two-thirds of all workplace fatalities in the Philadelphia area. The share of total fatalities due to transportation incidents in Philadelphia (27 percent) ranked fifth among the 10 largest metropolitan areas in the nation. The Philadelphia area’s share of total fatalities due to violence and other injuries by persons or animals (20 percent) tied with New York and ranked fourth behind Houston (24 percent), Los Angeles (23 percent), and Washington (22 percent). Contact with objects and equipment made up 20 percent of the Philadelphia area’s share of total fatalities during 2017 and ranked highest among the 10 largest areas.

Falls, slips, or trips and exposure to harmful substances or environments were tied for the fourth-most frequent fatal work event in the Philadelphia area with seven fatalities each. Falls, slips, or trips in the Philadelphia area decreased by seven from the 2016 total. The Philadelphia area’s 16-percent share in these categories was the lowest among the 10 largest areas for the falls, slips, or trips category, but was the fourth-highest share for exposures to harmful substances or environments.

Nationally, transportation incidents remained the most frequent fatal workplace event in 2017, accounting for 40 percent of fatal work injuries. (See chart 3.) 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 construction industry sector had the largest number of fatalities in the Philadelphia area with 10, down from 14 the previous year. (See table 3.) Falls to a lower level was the most frequent fatal event in the construction sector with three worker deaths. Seven of those fatally injured in the construction sector worked in specialty trade contracting.

Transportation and warehousing accounted for nine work-related fatalities, three more than the count for 2016. One-third of transportation and warehousing fatalities occurred in support activities for transportation.

Occupation

Transportation and material moving occupations and construction and extraction occupations had the highest numbers of workplace fatalities with 14 and 10, respectively. (See table 4.) Twenty-nine percent of the fatalities within the transportation and material moving group were heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers (4). Construction trades workers accounted for 8 of the 10 fatalities among construction and extraction workers, with 2 being construction laborers.

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, the Philadelphia area had seven fatally-injured workers identified as fitting the contractor criteria; of those, four were the result of falls to a lower level.

Additional highlights

  • Men accounted for 98 percent of the work-related fatalities in the Philadelphia area, higher than the 93-percent national share. (See table 5.) Transportation incidents made up 25 percent of the fatalities for men in the Philadelphia area, followed by violence and other injuries by persons or animals and contact with objects and equipment (20 percent each).

  • White, non-Hispanic workers accounted for 64 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 69 percent of the area’s work-related fatalities in 2017, compared to 55 percent of on-the-job fatalities nationally. Workers 55 and older accounted for 31 percent of the Philadelphia area’s 2017 workplace fatalities, similar to the 37 percent rate for this group nationally.

  • Of the 45 fatally-injured workers in the Philadelphia area, 84 percent worked for wages and salaries; the remainder were self-employed. Transportation incidents was the most frequent fatal event for wage and salary workers.

  • Forty percent of workplace fatalities in the Philadelphia area occurred between 12:00PM and 2:59PM, compared to 18 percent nationwide.


(1) Metropolitan area populations based on 2015 estimates from the Census Bureau.


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, 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 2017 national 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 thanks the Pennsylvania Department of Health; New Jersey Department of Health; Delaware Department of Labor; 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, Bulletin Number 13-01, February 2013. A detailed list of the geographic definitions is available at www.bls.gov/lau/lausmsa.htm. 

The Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, PA-NJ-DE-MD Metropolitan Statistical Area consists of the Camden, N.J. Metropolitan Division (MD); the Montgomery County-Bucks County-Chester County, Pa. Metropolitan Division (MD); the Philadelphia, Pa. Metropolitan Division (MD); and the Wilmington, Del.-Md.-N.J. Metropolitan Division (MD).

The Camden, NJ MD consists of Burlington, Camden, and Gloucester Counties in New Jersey.

The Montgomery County-Bucks County-Chester County, PA MD consists of Bucks, Chester, and Montgomery Counties in Pennsylvania.

The Philadelphia, PA MD consists of Delaware and Philadelphia Counties in Pennsylvania.

The Wilmington, DE-MD-NJ MD consists of New Castle County in Delaware, Cecil County in Maryland, and Salem County in New Jersey.  

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 2017
Metropolitan Areas (1) Total fatalities Transportation incidents Violence and other injuries by persons or animals Contact with objects and equipment Fall, slip, trip Exposure to harmful substances or environments

United States (2)

5,147 2,077 807 695 887 531

New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA

215 51 43 18 63 36

Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI

102 30 19 18 17 16

Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX

101 24 24 11 28 11

Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX

95 22 13 15 33 12

Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA

94 19 22 12 29 12

Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach, FL

80 24 15 7 21 12

Boston-Cambridge-Newton, MA-NH

74 20 11 5 15 22

Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell, GA

70 30 13 7 13 6

Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV

63 16 14 9 14 9

Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, PA-NJ-DE-MD

45 12 9 9 7 7

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 occuring in nonmetropolitan areas.

Table 2. Fatal occupational injuries by event or exposure, Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, PA-NJ-DE-MD, 2016-2017
Event or exposure (1) 2016 2017
Number Number Percent

Total

52 45 100

    Violence and other injuries by persons or animals

7 9 20

        Intentional injury by person

4 9 20

            Homicides

4 8 18

                Shooting by other person—intentional

3 7 16

                Multiple violent acts by other person

- 1 2

    Transportation incidents

21 12 27

        Aircraft incidents

- 2 4

            Aircraft crash during takeoff or landing

- 2 4

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

- 2 4

        Pedestrian vehicular incident

8 3 7

            Pedestrian struck by vehicle in work zone

- 1 2

                Pedestrian struck by forward-moving vehicle in work zone

- 1 2

            Pedestrian struck by vehicle on side of road

- 1 2

                Pedestrian struck by forward-moving vehicle on side of road

- 1 2

            Pedestrian struck by vehicle in nonroadway area

4 1 2

                Pedestrian struck by vehicle backing up in nonroadway area

3 1 2

        Roadway incident involving motorized land vehicle

9 7 16

            Roadway collision with other vehicle

5 4 9

                Roadway collision moving in same direction

4 1 2

                Roadway collision moving and standing vehicle in roadway

- 1 2

            Roadway collision with object other than vehicle

3 3 7

                Vehicle struck by falling or flying object roadway

- 1 2

    Fall, slip, trip

14 7 16

        Fall to lower level

11 6 13

            Fall through surface or existing opening

3 1 2

                Fall through surface or existing opening more than 30 feet

- 1 2

            Other fall to lower level

8 4 9

    Exposure to harmful substances or environments

3 7 16

        Exposure to electricity

- 4 9

            Direct exposure to electricity

- 3 7

                Direct exposure to electricity, 220 volts or less

- 1 2

        Exposure to other harmful substances

- 3 7

            Nonmedical use of drugs or alcohol unintentional overdose

- 3 7

    Contact with objects and equipment

6 9 20

        Struck by object or equipment

5 8 18

            Struck by powered vehicle nontransport

- 3 7

                Struck by powered vehicle tipping over nontransport

- 1 2

            Struck by falling object or equipment

4 5 11

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

- 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, Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, PA-NJ-DE-MD, 2016-2017
Industry (1) 2016 2017
Number Number Percent

Total

52 45 100

    Private industry

44 40 89

        Goods-producing

19 14 31

            Construction

14 10 22

                    Construction of buildings

3 1 2

                        Residential building construction

- 1 2

                            Residential building construction

- 1 2

                                New multifamily housing construction (except for-sale builders)

- 1 2

                    Heavy and civil engineering construction

- 2 4

                        Highway, street, and bridge construction

- 1 2

                            Highway, street, and bridge construction

- 1 2

                        Other heavy and civil engineering construction

- 1 2

                    Specialty trade contractors

11 7 16

                        Foundation, structure, and building exterior contractors

7 3 7

                        Other specialty trade contractors

2 1 2

                            Site preparation contractors

1 1 2

            Manufacturing

4 2 4

                    Fabricated metal product manufacturing

- 1 2

                        Architectural and structural metals manufacturing

- 1 2

                            Plate work and fabricated structural product manufacturing

- 1 2

                                Fabricated structural metal manufacturing

- 1 2

                    Transportation equipment manufacturing

- 1 2

                        Motor vehicle manufacturing

- 1 2

                            Heavy duty truck manufacturing

- 1 2

        Service providing

25 26 58

            Trade, transportation, and utilities

11 15 33

                Retail trade

3 3 7

                    Food and beverage stores

1 1 2

                        Grocery stores

1 1 2

                            Supermarkets and other grocery (except convenience) stores

1 1 2

                Transportation and warehousing

6 9 20

                    Air transportation

- 1 2

                        Nonscheduled air transportation

- 1 2

                            Nonscheduled air transportation

- 1 2

                    Truck transportation

3 1 2

                        Specialized freight trucking

- 1 2

                            Specialized freight (except used goods) trucking, local

- 1 2

                    Transit and ground passenger transportation

- 1 2

                        Taxi and limousine service

- 1 2

                            Limousine service

- 1 2

                    Support activities for transportation

- 3 7

                        Support activities for water transportation

- 1 2

                            Marine cargo handling

- 1 2

                        Support activities for road transportation

- 2 4

                            Motor vehicle towing

- 2 4

            Utilities

- 1 2

                Utilities

- 1 2

                    Electric power generation, transmission and distribution

- 1 2

                        Electric power transmission, control, and distribution

- 1 2

                            Electric power distribution

- 1 2

        Financial activities

1 1 2

            Real estate and rental and leasing

1 1 2

                Real estate

- 1 2

                    Lessors of real estate

- 1 2

                        Lessors of nonresidential buildings (except miniwarehouses)

- 1 2

        Professional and business services

6 4 9

            Administrative and support and waste management and remediation services

5 4 9

                Administrative and support services

- 3 7

        Educational and health services

1 3 7

            Health care and social assistance

1 2 4

                Ambulatory health care services

- 1 2

                    Other ambulatory health care services

- 1 2

                        Ambulance services

- 1 2

                Nursing and residential care facilities

- 1 2

                    Continuing care retirement communities and assisted living facilities for the elderly

- 1 2

                        Continuing care retirement communities and assisted living facilities for the elderly

- 1 2

                            Assisted living facilities for the elderly

- 1 2

        Leisure and hospitality

2 2 4

            Accommodation and food services

1 2 4

                Food services and drinking places

1 2 4

                    Drinking places (alcoholic beverages)

- 2 4

                        Drinking places (alcoholic beverages)

- 2 4

    Government(2)

8 5 11

        State government

- 3 7

            Service providing

- 3 7

                Trade, transportation, and utilities

- 1 2

                    Transportation and warehousing

- 1 2

                        Transit and ground passenger transportation

- 1 2

                            Interurban and rural bus transportation

- 1 2

                                Interurban and rural bus transportation

- 1 2

                    Public administration

- 2 4

                        Justice, public order, and safety activities

- 2 4

                            Justice, public order, and safety activities

- 2 4

                                Police protection

- 1 2

                                Correctional institutions

1 1 2

        Local government

4 - -

            Goods-producing

- 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

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, Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, PA-NJ-DE-MD, 2016-2017
Occupation (1) 2016 2017
Number Number Percent

Total

52 45 100

Management, business, science, and arts occupations

3 3 7

    Management, business, and financial occupations

- 3 7

        Management occupations

- 3 7

Service occupations

7 8 18

        Protective service occupations

5 3 7

            First-line supervisors/managers, protective service workers

1 1 2

                First-line supervisors/managers, law enforcement workers

- 1 2

                    First-line supervisors of correctional officers

- 1 2

            Law enforcement workers

- 1 2

                Police officers

- 1 2

                    Police and sheriff's patrol officers

- 1 2

        Food preparation and serving related occupations

1 2 4

            Supervisors, food preparation and serving workers

- 2 4

                First-line supervisors/managers, food preparation and serving workers

- 2 4

                    First-line supervisors of food preparation and serving workers

- 2 4

        Building and grounds cleaning and maintenance occupations

- 3 7

            Supervisors, building and grounds cleaning and maintenance workers

- 1 2

                First-line supervisors/managers, building and grounds cleaning and maintenance workers

- 1 2

                    First-line supervisors of housekeeping and janitorial workers

- 1 2

Sales and office occupations

2 3 7

    Sales and related occupations

2 3 7

            Supervisors, sales workers

1 3 7

                First-line supervisors/managers, sales workers

1 3 7

                    First-line supervisors of retail sales workers

1 1 2

Natural resources, construction, and maintenance occupations

20 15 33

    Construction and extraction occupations

15 10 22

            Construction trades workers

13 8 18

                Construction laborers

- 2 4

                    Construction laborers

- 2 4

                Construction equipment operators

- 1 2

                    Pile-driver operators

- 1 2

            Other construction and related workers

- - -

                Highway maintenance workers

- 1 2

                    Highway maintenance workers

- 1 2

    Installation, maintenance, and repair occupations

5 5 11

            Other installation, maintenance, and repair occupations

3 4 9

                Industrial machinery installation, repair, and maintenance workers

- 1 2

                    Maintenance workers, machinery

- 1 2

                Line installers and repairers

- 1 2

                    Electrical power-line installers and repairers

- 1 2

                Miscellaneous installation, maintenance, and repair workers

- 1 2

                    Locksmiths and safe repairers

- 1 2

Production, transportation, and material moving occupations

20 16 36

    Production occupations

4 2 4

            Metal workers and plastic workers

- 2 4

                Machinists

- 1 2

                    Machinists

- 1 2

                Welding, soldering, and brazing workers

- 1 2

                    Welders, cutters, solderers, and brazers

- 1 2

    Transportation and material moving occupations

16 14 31

            Air transportation workers

- 2 4

                Aircraft pilots and flight engineers

- 2 4

                    Commercial pilots

- 2 4

            Motor vehicle operators

9 7 16

                Bus drivers

- 1 2

                    Bus drivers, transit and intercity

- 1 2

                Driver/sales workers and truck drivers

9 5 11

                    Heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers

6 4 9

                Taxi drivers and chauffeurs

- 1 2

                    Taxi drivers and chauffeurs

- 1 2

            Other transportation workers

- 1 2

                Transportation inspectors

- 1 2

                    Transportation inspectors

- 1 2

            Material moving workers

7 3 7

                Laborers and material movers, hand

1 3 7

                    Laborers and freight, stock, and material movers, hand

- 3 7

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, Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, PA-NJ-DE-MD, 2016-2017
Worker characteristics 2016 2017
Number Number Percent

Total

52 45 100

Employee status

Wage and salary workers (1)

41 38 84

Self-employed (2)

11 7 16

Gender

Men

47 44 98

Women

5 1 2

Age (3)

25 to 34 years

9 9 20

35 to 44 years

13 8 18

45 to 54 years

9 14 31

55 to 64 years

12 10 22

65 and over

7 4 9

Race or ethnic origin (4)

White (non-Hispanic)

32 29 64

Black or African-American (non-Hispanic)

13 12 27

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