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19-1271-PHI
Tuesday, July 09, 2019

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Fatal Work Injuries in the Pittsburgh Area — 2017

Fatal work injuries totaled 28 in 2017 for the Pittsburgh, PA 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 Pittsburgh area increased by five from the previous year. Fatal occupational injuries in the Pittsburgh area have ranged from a high of 45 in 2008 to a low of 18 in 2014. (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 the Pittsburgh area, exposure to harmful substances or environments resulted in eight fatal work injuries and violence and other injuries by persons or animals accounted for seven fatalities. These two major categories accounted for 54 percent of all workplace fatalities in the Pittsburgh area. (See table 1.) The number of worker deaths from exposure to harmful substances or environments and violence and other injuries by persons or animals increased by three fatalities each from the previous year. Three of the eight fatalities in exposure to harmful substances or environments were unintentional overdoses from the non-medical use of drugs or alcohol.

Transportation incidents was the third-most frequent fatal work event with six fatalities, up from four in 2016. Contact with objects and equipment resulted in five work-related deaths.

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 construction industry sector had seven workplace fatalities and the private transportation and warehousing sector had five. (See table 2.) Contact with objects and equipment was the most frequent fatal event in the construction sector with four worker deaths, while in transportation and warehousing,  transportation incidents was the most frequent with three.

Occupation

Transportation and material moving occupations and construction and extraction occupations had the highest number of workplace fatalities with seven and six, respectively. (See table 3.)  Heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers accounted for four of the seven fatalities among transportation and material moving workers. Three of the fatalities within the construction and extraction group were construction trades workers. 

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 Pittsburgh area had five fatally-injured workers identified as fitting the contractor criteria; of those, three were the result of exposure to harmful substances or environments.

Additional highlights

  • Men accounted for 86 percent of the work-related fatalities in the Pittsburgh area, lower than the 93-percent national share. (See table 4.) Violence and other injuries by persons or animals and exposure to harmful substances or environments each accounted for 25 percent of the fatalities for men in the Pittsburgh area.
  • White, non-Hispanic workers accounted for 93 percent of workers who died from a workplace injury. Nationwide, this group accounted for 67 percent of work-related deaths. The most frequent event in the Pittsburgh area for white, non-Hispanics was exposure to harmful substances or environments with seven fatalities.     

  • Workers 25-54 years old accounted for 64 percent of the area’s work-related fatalities in 2017, compared to 55 percent of on-the-job fatalities nationally.

  • Of the 28 fatally-injured workers in the Pittsburgh area, 86 percent worked for wages and salaries; the remainder were self-employed. The most frequent fatal events for wage and salary workers were violence and other injuries by persons or animals and exposure to harmful substances or environments with six worker deaths each.

 


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 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 https://www.bls.gov/lau/lausmsa.htm.

The Pittsburgh, PA Metropolitan Statistical Area consists of Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Butler, Fayette, Washington, and Westmoreland Counties in Pennsylvania.

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, Pittsburgh, PA, 2016-2017
Event or exposure(1) 2016 2017
Number Number Percent

Total

23 28 100

Violence and other injuries by persons or animals

4 7 25

    Intentional injury by person

3 7 25

        Homicides

1 5 18

            Shooting by other person—intentional

1 4 14

            Hitting, kicking, beating, shoving

- 1 4

Transportation incidents

4 6 21

    Pedestrian vehicular incident

- 1 4

        Pedestrian struck by vehicle in work zone

- 1 4

            Pedestrian struck by vehicle backing up in work zone

- 1 4

    Roadway incident involving motorized land vehicle

- 5 18

        Roadway collision with other vehicle

- 2 7

            Roadway collision moving in same direction

- 1 4

        Roadway collision with object other than vehicle

1 3 11

            Vehicle struck object or animal on side of roadway

1 3 11

Fall, slip, trip

8 - -

    Fall to lower level

7 - -

        Fall from collapsing structure or equipment

- 1 4

            Fall from collapsing structure or equipment more than 30 feet

- 1 4

Exposure to harmful substances or environments

5 8 29

    Exposure to electricity

- 3 11

        Direct exposure to electricity

- 1 4

            Direct exposure to electricity, greater than 220 volts

- 1 4

        Indirect exposure to electricity

- - -

            Indirect exposure to electricity, greater than 220 volts

- 1 4

    Exposure to other harmful substances

5 3 11

        Nonmedical use of drugs or alcohol unintentional overdose

5 3 11

    Exposure to oxygen deficiency

- 2 7

        Drowning, submersion, n.e.c.

- 2 7

Contact with objects and equipment

- 5 18

    Struck by object or equipment

- 3 11

        Struck by falling object or equipment

- 2 7

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

- 1 4

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

- 2 7

        Excavation or trenching cave-in

- 2 7

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 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, Pittsburgh, PA, 2016-2017
Industry(1) 2016 2017
Number Number Percent

Total

23 28 100

Private industry

17 25 89

    Goods producing

6 10 36

        Construction

5 7 25

                Heavy and civil engineering construction

- 3 11

                    Utility system construction

- 2 7

                        Water and sewer line and related structures construction

- 1 4

                        Power and communication line and related structures construction

- 1 4

                    Highway, street, and bridge construction

- 1 4

                        Highway, street, and bridge construction

- 1 4

                Specialty trade contractors

- 4 14

                    Foundation, structure, and building exterior contractors

- 2 7

                        Masonry contractors

- 1 -

                            Residential masonry contractors

- 1 4

                Roofing contractors

- 1 4

                Building equipment contractors

- 1 4

                    Plumbing, heating, and air-conditioning contractors

- 1 4

                        Residential plumbing, heating, and air-conditioning contractors

- 1 4

                Other specialty trade contractors

- 1 4

                    Site preparation contractors

- 1 4

                        Nonresidential site preparation contractors

- 1 4

        Manufacturing

- 3 11

            Petroleum and coal products manufacturing

- 1 4

                Petroleum and coal products manufacturing

- 1 4

                    Other petroleum and coal products manufacturing

- 1 4

    Service providing

11 15 54

        Trade, transportation, and utilities

5 6 21

            Transportation and warehousing

4 5 18

                Truck transportation

3 3 11

                    Specialized freight trucking

- 1 4

                        Specialized freight (except used goods) trucking, local

- 1 4

                Transit and ground passenger transportation

- 2 7

                    Taxi and limousine service

- 1 4

                        Taxi service

- 1 4

                    School and employee bus transportation

- 1 4

                        School and employee bus transportation

- 1 4

        Utilities

- 1 4

            Utilities

- 1 4

                Electric power generation, transmission and distribution

- 1 4

                    Electric power generation

- 1 4

                        Nuclear electric power generation

- 1 4

        Professional and business services

- 3 11

            Administrative and support and waste management and remediation services

- 3 11

                Administrative and support services

- 3 11

                    Services to buildings and dwellings

- 3 11

                        Landscaping services

- 1 4

        Educational and health services

- 4 14

            Educational services

- 1 4

                Educational services

- 1 4

                    Colleges, universities, and professional schools

- 1 4

                        Colleges, universities, and professional schools

- 1 4

            Health care and social assistance

- 3 11

                Ambulatory health care services

- 1 4

                    Offices of other health practitioners

- 1 4

                        Offices of mental health practitioners (except physicians)

- 1 4

               Social assistance

- 1 4

                   Individual and family services

- 1 4

                       Services for the elderly and persons with disabilities

- 1 4

Government(2)

6 3 11

    State government

- 1 4

        Service providing

- 1 4

            Public administration

- 1 4

                Justice, public order, and safety activities

- 1 4

                    Justice, public order, and safety activities

- 1 4

                        Police protection

- 1 4

    Local government

6 2 7

        Goods producing

- 1 4

            Construction

- 1 4

                Heavy and civil engineering construction

- 1 4

                    Highway, street, and bridge construction

- 1 4

                        Highway, street, and bridge construction

- 1 4

        Service providing

6 1 4

            Public administration

5 1 4

                Justice, public order, and safety activities

4 1 4

                    Justice, public order, and safety activities

4 1 4

                        Police protection

- 1 4

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 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, Pittsburgh, PA, 2016-2017
Occupation(1) 2016 2017
Number Number Percent

Total

23 28 100

    Management, business, science, and arts occupations

- 2 7

        Professional and related occupations

- 2 7

    Education, legal, community service, arts, and media occupations

- 2 7

        Community and social services occupations

- 2 7

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

- 2 7

                Counselors

- 1 4

                    Mental health counselors

- 1 4

                Social workers

- 1 4

                    Child, family, and school social workers

- 1 4

    Service occupations

9 8 29

        Protective service occupations

4 2 7

            Law enforcement workers

- 2 7

                Police officers

- 2 7

                    Police and sheriff's patrol officers

- 2 7

        Food preparation and serving related occupations

- - -

            Food and beverage serving workers

- 1 4

                Fast food and counter workers

- 1 4

                    Counter attendants, cafeteria, food concession, and coffee shop

- 1 4

        Building and grounds cleaning and maintenance occupations

3 3 11

            Grounds maintenance workers

- 1 4

                Grounds maintenance workers

- 1 4

                    Tree trimmers and pruners

- 1 4

    Natural resources, construction, and maintenance occupations

7 8 29

        Construction and extraction occupations

5 6 23

             Supervisors of construction and extraction workers

- 1 4

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

- 1 4

                     First-line supervisors of construction trades and extraction workers

- 1 4

            Construction trades workers

4 3 11

                Brickmasons, blockmasons, and stonemasons

- 1 4

                    Brickmasons and blockmasons

- 1 4

                Construction laborers

- 1 4

                    Construction laborers

- 1 4

                Construction equipment operators

- 1 4

                    Operating engineers and other construction equipment operators

- 1 4

            Other construction and related workers

1 2 7

                Highway maintenance workers

- 1 4

                    Highway maintenance workers

- 1 4

                Septic tank servicers and sewer pipe cleaners

- 1 4

                    Septic tank servicers and sewer pipe cleaners

- 1 4

        Installation, maintenance, and repair occupations

- - -

            Vehicle and mobile equipment mechanics, installers, and repairers

- 1 4

                Heavy vehicle and mobile equipment service technicians and mechanics

- 1 4

                    Mobile heavy equipment mechanics, except engines

- 1 4

    Production, transportation, and material moving occupations

5 10 36

        Production occupations

- - -

            Plant and system operators

- 2 7

                Power plant operators, distributors, and dispatchers

- 2 7

                    Power plant operators

- 2 7

        Transportation and material moving occupations

5 7 25

            Motor vehicle operators

4 6 21

                Bus drivers

- 1 4

                    Bus drivers, school or special client

- 1 4

                Driver/sales workers and truck drivers

4 4 14

                    Heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers

3 4 14

                Taxi drivers and chauffeurs

- 1 4

                    Taxi drivers and chauffeurs

- 1 4

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 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, Pittsburgh, PA, 2016-2017
Characteristic 2016 2017
Number Number Percent

Total

23 28 100

Employee status

Wage and salary workers(1)

21 24 86

Self-employed(2)

- 4 14

Gender

Women

- 4 14

Men

21 24 86

Age(3)

18 to 19 years

- 1 4

20 to 24 years

- 2 7

25 to 34 years

6 8 29

35 to 44 years

- 1 4

45 to 54 years

3 9 32

55 to 64 years

9 6 21

Race or ethnic origin(4)

White (non-Hispanic)

23 26 93

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