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News Release Information

20-1179-PHI
Thursday, June 04, 2020

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Fatal Work Injuries in the Washington, DC Area — 2018

Fatal work injuries totaled 68 in 2018 for the Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV 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 increased by five from the previous year. 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 5,250 fatal work injuries were recorded in 2018, up from the 5,147 fatal injuries in 2017, according to the results from the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI) program.

In 2018, the Washington metropolitan area had the sixth-largest population nationally[1] and had the third-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 (209) in 2018. The smallest of the 10 metropolitan areas—Boston—had the lowest fatality count with 60 deaths.

 

Type of incident

In the Washington metropolitan area, transportation incidents was the most frequent fatal event, resulting in 18 fatal work injuries during 2018, an increase of 2 from the previous year. (See table 1 and table 2.) The share of total fatalities due to transportation incidents in Washington (26 percent) ranked seventh among the 10 largest metropolitan areas during 2018. 

Violence and other injuries by persons or animals and exposure to harmful substances or environments were tied for the second-most frequent type of fatal incident in the Washington metropolitan area, accounting for 14 fatalities each. The Washington area’s share of total fatalities due violence and other injuries by persons or animals (21 percent) ranked fourth among the 10 largest areas behind Houston (29 percent), Chicago (23 percent), and Atlanta (23 percent). Washington’s 21-percent share of total fatalities from exposure to harmful substances or environments ranked first among the 10 largest areas. 

Nationally, transportation incidents was the most frequent fatal workplace event in 2018, accounting for 40 percent of fatal work injuries. (See chart 3) Violence and other injuries by persons or animals was the second-most common fatal event (16 percent), followed by falls, slips, and trips (15 percent) and contact with objects and equipment (15 percent).

 

Industry

The private construction industry sector had the largest number of fatalities in the Washington metropolitan area with 15, compared to 24 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. Eleven of those fatally injured in this sector worked in specialty trade contracting. 

Government had 12 workplace fatalities, double the count in the previous year. Half of the fatalities in this sector were due to transportation incidents. 

Occupation

Transportation and material moving occupations and construction and extraction occupations had the highest number of workplace fatalities with 16 and 14, respectively. (See table 4.) Eight of the fatalities within the transportation and material moving group were heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers. Roofers accounted for 4 of the 14 fatalities among construction and extraction 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 2018, the Washington metropolitan area had 15 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 93 percent of the work-related fatalities in the Washington metropolitan area, similar to the 92-percent national share. (See table 5.) Transportation incidents and exposure to harmful substances or environments each accounted for 22 percent of the fatalities for men in the Washington metropolitan area. Four of the five women fatally injured in the Washington area during 2018 died as a result of transportation incidents.

  • White, non-Hispanic workers accounted for 44 percent of those who died from a workplace injury. Nationwide, this group accounted for 65 percent of work-related deaths. Hispanic or Latino workers accounted for 28 percent of fatal work injuries in the Washington metropolitan area, compared with 18 percent nationwide. 

  • Workers 25-54 years old accounted for 59 percent of the area’s work-related fatalities in 2018, compared to 58 percent of on-the-job fatalities nationally. 

  • Of the 68 fatally-injured workers in the Washington metropolitan area, 91 percent worked for wages and salaries; the remainder were self-employed. The most frequent fatal event for wage and salary workers was transportation incidents.

  • Twenty-four percent of workplace fatalities in the Washington metropolitan area occurred between the hours of 8:00AM and 9:59AM during 2018, compared to 11 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, 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 2018 national data, over 24,800 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. 

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 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, Bulletin Number 13-01, February 2013. A detailed list of the geographic definitions is available at https://www.bls.gov/bls/omb-bulletin-13-01-revised-delineations-of-metropolitan-statistical-areas.pdf

The Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV Metropolitan Statistical Area consists of the Silver Spring-Frederick-Rockville, MD Metropolitan Division (MD) and the Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV Metropolitan Division (MD).

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

The Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV 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 2018
Metropolitan Areas (1) Total fatalities Transportation incidents Violence and other injuries by persons or animals Exposure to harmful substances or environments Falls, slips, trips Contact with objects and equipment

United States (2)

5,250 2,080 828 621 791 786

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

209 53 32 32 50 33

Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA

122 38 25 10 34 15

Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI

107 24 25 14 19 22

Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX

100 28 29 13 16 13

Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX

89 33 17 8 15 10

Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell, GA

82 33 19 5 13 11

Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach, FL

70 21 8 14 14 12

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

68 18 14 14 12 6

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

63 21 8 10 5 17

Boston-Cambridge-Newton, MA-NH

60 11 11 11 15 11

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 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 event or exposure, Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV, 2017-2018
Event or exposure (1) 2017 2018
Number Number Percent

Total

63 68 100

    Violence and other injuries by persons or animals

14 14 21

        Intentional injury by person

14 14 21

            Homicides

7 8 12

                Shooting by other person—intentional

6 5 7

                Multiple violent acts by other person

- 2 3

            Suicides

7 6 9

                Shooting—intentional self-harm

6 4 6

    Transportation incidents

16 18 26

        Aircraft incidents

1 1 1

            Other in-flight crash

1 1 1

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

1 1 1

        Rail vehicle incidents

3 1 1

            Pedestrian struck by rail vehicle—transportation incident

2 1 1

        Pedestrian vehicular incident

4 9 13

            Pedestrian struck by vehicle in work zone

- 2 3

                Pedestrian struck by forward-moving vehicle in work zone

- 2 3

            Pedestrian struck by vehicle on side of road

1 2 3

                Pedestrian struck by vehicle propelled by another vehicle on side of road

- 1 1

                Pedestrian struck by forward-moving vehicle on side of road

1 1 1

            Pedestrian struck by vehicle in nonroadway area

1 5 7

                Pedestrian struck by vehicle propelled by another vehicle in nonroadway area

- 1 1

                Pedestrian struck by vehicle backing up in nonroadway area

- 3 4

        Roadway incident involving motorized land vehicle

8 6 9

            Roadway collision with other vehicle

4 4 6

                Roadway collision moving in opposite directions, oncoming

3 1 1

                Roadway collision moving and standing vehicle in roadway

- 1 1

            Roadway collision with object other than vehicle

4 2 3

                Vehicle struck object or animal on side of roadway

4 2 3

    Fire or explosion

1 3 4

        Fire

1 1 1

            Ignition of vapors, gases, or liquids

- 1 1

    Falls, slips, trips

14 12 18

        Fall to lower level

12 12 18

            Fall from collapsing structure or equipment

1 - -

                Fall from collapsing structure or equipment 16 to 20 feet

1 1 1

            Fall through surface or existing opening

- 1 1

                Fall through surface or existing opening 16 to 20 feet

- 1 1

            Other fall to lower level

10 9 13

                Other fall to lower level 11 to 15 feet

3 2 3

                Other fall to lower level 26 to 30 feet

2 3 4

    Exposure to harmful substances or environments

9 14 21

        Exposure to electricity

1 3 4

        Exposure to other harmful substances

6 9 13

            Nonmedical use of drugs or alcohol unintentional overdose

6 8 12

    Contact with objects and equipment

9 6 9

        Struck by object or equipment

5 4 6

            Struck by powered vehicle nontransport

- 2 3

                Struck or run over by rolling powered vehicle

- 1 1

                Struck by falling part of powered vehicle still attached

- 1 1

            Struck by falling object or equipment

3 1 1

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

- 1 1

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

2 1 1

            Engulfment in other collapsing material

- 1 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. 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 industry, Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV, 2017-2018
Industry (1) 2017 2018
Number Number Percent

Total

63 68 100

    Private industry

57 56 82

        Goods producing

27 19 28

            Natural resources and mining

3 2 3

                Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting

3 1 1

                    Crop production

- 1 1

                        Other crop farming

- 1 1

                            Hay farming

- 1 1

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

- 1 1

                    Mining (except oil and gas)

- 1 1

                        Nonmetallic mineral mining and quarrying

- 1 1

                            Stone mining and quarrying

- 1 1

                                Dimension stone mining and quarrying

- 1 1

            Construction

24 15 22

                    Construction of buildings

6 1 1

                        Residential building construction

6 1 1

                            Residential building construction

6 1 1

                                Residential remodelers

- 1 1

                    Heavy and civil engineering construction

3 3 4

                    Specialty trade contractors

15 11 16

                        Foundation, structure, and building exterior contractors

7 6 9

                            Roofing contractors

- 5 7

                                Residential roofing contractors

1 4 6

                        Building equipment contractors

3 3 4

                            Electrical contractors and other wiring installation contractors

- 1 1

                        Building finishing contractors

- 1 1

                            Finish carpentry contractors

- 1 1

                                Residential finish carpentry contractors

- 1 1

                        Other specialty trade contractors

3 1 1

                            All other specialty trade contractors

- 1 1

        Service providing

30 37 54

            Trade, transportation, and utilities

13 13 19

                Wholesale trade

- 1 1

                    Merchant wholesalers, durable goods

- 1 1

                        Motor vehicle and motor vehicle parts and supplies merchant wholesalers

- 1 1

                            Motor vehicle parts (used) merchant wholesalers

- 1 1

                Retail trade

4 3 4

                    Gasoline stations

- 2 3

                        Gasoline stations

- 2 3

                            Gasoline stations with convenience stores

- 2 3

                Transportation and warehousing

9 9 13

                    Truck transportation

- 9 13

                        General freight trucking

- 6 9

                            General freight trucking, long-distance

- 4 6

                                General freight trucking, long-distance, truckload

- 3 4

                        Specialized freight trucking

- 3 4

            Professional and business services

8 12 18

                Professional, scientific, and technical services

2 3 4

                    Professional, scientific, and technical services

2 3 4

                        Other professional, scientific, and technical services

- 1 1

                            Veterinary services

- 1 1

                Administrative and support and waste management and remediation services

6 9 13

                    Administrative and support services

5 7 10

                        Investigation and security services

- 1 1

                            Security systems services

- 1 1

                                Security systems services (except locksmiths)

- 1 1

                        Services to buildings and dwellings

5 6 9

                            Landscaping services

3 6 9

            Educational and health services

- 3 4

                Educational services

- 1 1

                    Educational services

- 1 1

                        Colleges, universities, and professional schools

- 1 1

                            Colleges, universities, and professional schools

- 1 1

            Leisure and hospitality

5 3 4

                Arts, entertainment, and recreation

- 1 1

                    Amusement, gambling, and recreation industries

- 1 1

                        Other amusement and recreation industries

- 1 1

                Accommodation and food services

5 - -

                    Food services and drinking places

5 1 1

                        Restaurants and other eating places

5 1 1

                            Restaurants and other eating places

5 1 1

                                Limited-service restaurants

- 1 1

                Other services, except public administration

- 3 4

                    Repair and maintenance

- 3 4

                        Automotive repair and maintenance

- 3 4

                            Other automotive repair and maintenance

- 1 1

                                Car washes

- 1 1

    Government (3)

6 12 18

        Federal government

- 8 12

            Service providing

- 8 12

                Trade, transportation, and utilities

- 2 3

                    Transportation and warehousing

- 2 3

                        Rail transportation

- 1 1

                            Rail transportation

- 1 1

                                Rail transportation

- 1 1

                                    Line-haul railroads

- 1 1

                        Postal service

- 1 1

                            Postal service

- 1 1

                                Postal service

- 1 1

                    Public administration

- 6 9

                        Administration of human resource programs

- 1 1

                            Administration of human resource programs

- 1 1

                                Administration of public health programs

- 1 1

                        Administration of economic programs

- 1 1

                            Administration of economic programs

- 1 1

                                Administration of general economic programs

- 1 1

                        National security and international affairs

- 3 4

                            National security and international affairs

- 3 4

                                National security

- 3 4

        State government

1 1 1

            Service providing

1 1 1

                Public administration

1 1 1

                    Administration of economic programs

- 1 1

                        Administration of economic programs

- 1 1

                            Regulation and administration of transportation programs

- 1 1

        Local government

3 3 4

            Service providing

3 3 4

                Trade, transportation, and utilities

- 1 1

                    Transportation and warehousing

- 1 1

                        Transit and ground passenger transportation

- 1 1

                            School and employee bus transportation

- 1 1

                                School and employee bus transportation

- 1 1

                Public administration

- 2 3

                    Justice, public order, and safety activities

1 2 3

                        Justice, public order, and safety activities

1 2 3

                            Police protection

1 1 1

                            Correctional institutions

- 1 1

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 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 occupation, Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV, 2017-2018
Occupation (1) 2017 2018
Number Number Percent

Total

63 68 100

Management, business, science, and arts occupations

9 8 12

    Management, business, and financial occupations

8 4 6

        Management occupations

7 3 4

            Advertising, marketing, promotions, public relations, and sales managers

- - -

                Marketing and sales managers

- 1 1

                    Sales managers

- 1 1

            Other management occupations

6 1 1

                Agricultural managers

3 1 1

                    Farmers, ranchers, and other agricultural managers

3 1 1

    Professional and related occupations

- 4 6

Computer, engineering, and science occupations

- 3 4

        Life, physical, and social science occupations

- - -

            Social scientists and related workers

- 1 1

                Economists

- 1 1

                    Economists

- 1 1

Healthcare practitioners and technical occupations

- 1 1

            Health diagnosing and treating practitioners

- 1 1

                Veterinarians

- 1 1

                    Veterinarians

- 1 1

Service occupations

11 11 16

        Protective service occupations

4 2 3

            Law enforcement workers

1 2 3

                Bailiffs, correctional officers, and jailers

- 1 1

                    Correctional officers and jailers

- 1 1

                Police officers

- 1 1

                    Police and sheriff's patrol officers

- 1 1

        Building and grounds cleaning and maintenance occupations

4 7 10

            Grounds maintenance workers

3 4 6

                Grounds maintenance workers

3 4 6

                    Landscaping and groundskeeping workers

- 4 6

Sales and office occupations

5 6 9

        Sales and related occupations

5 5 7

            Supervisors, sales workers

2 1 1

                First-line supervisors/managers, sales workers

2 1 1

                    First-line supervisors of retail sales workers

2 1 1

            Retail sales workers

- - -

                Cashiers

- 1 1

                    Cashiers

- 1 1

            Other sales and related workers

- 1 1

                Miscellaneous sales and related workers

- 1 1

        Office and administrative support occupations

- 1 1

            Material recording, scheduling, dispatching, and distributing workers

- 1 1

                Postal service workers

- 1 1

                    Postal service clerks

- 1 1

Natural resources, construction, and maintenance occupations

23 22 32

        Construction and extraction occupations

22 14 21

            Construction trades workers

14 9 13

                Electricians

- 1 1

                    Electricians

- 1 1

                Roofers

- 4 6

                    Roofers

- 4 6

            Extraction workers

- 1 1

                Mining machine operators

- 1 1

        Installation, maintenance, and repair occupations

- 8 12

            Supervisors of installation, maintenance, and repair workers

- 1 1

                First-line supervisors/managers of mechanics, installers, and repairers

- 1 1

                    First-line supervisors of mechanics, installers, and repairers

- 1 1

            Electrical and electronic equipment mechanics, installers, and repairers

- 1 1

                Miscellaneous electrical and electronic equipment mechanics, installers, and repairers

- 1 1

                    Security and fire alarm systems installers

- 1 1

            Vehicle and mobile equipment mechanics, installers, and repairers

- 4 6

                Automotive technicians and repairers

- 4 6

                    Automotive service technicians and mechanics

- 4 6

Production, transportation, and material moving occupations

14 17 25

        Transportation and material moving occupations

13 16 24

            Air transportation workers

1 1 1

                Aircraft pilots and flight engineers

1 1 1

                    Airline pilots, copilots, and flight engineers

- 1 1

            Motor vehicle operators

8 12 18

                Bus drivers

- 1 1

                    Bus drivers, school or special client

- 1 1

                Driver/sales workers and truck drivers

7 11 16

                    Driver/sales workers

1 1 1

                    Heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers

6 8 12

            Material moving workers

2 3 4

                Laborers and material movers, hand

1 - -

                    Cleaners of vehicles and equipment

- 1 1

Military occupations(2)

- 3 4

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

(2) Includes fatal injuries to persons identified as resident armed forces regardless of individual occupation listed.

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 5. Fatal occupational injuries by worker characteristics, Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV, 2017-2018
Worker characteristics 2017 2018
Number Number Percent

Total

63 68 100

Employee status

Wage and salary workers (1)

49 62 91

Self-employed (2)

14 6 9

Gender

Men

59 63 93

Women

4 5 7

Age (3)

20 to 24 years

6 6 9

25 to 34 years

18 10 15

35 to 44 years

7 15 22

45 to 54 years

14 15 22

55 to 64 years

11 14 21

65 and over

5 8 12

Race or ethnic origin (4)

White (non-Hispanic)

27 30 44

Black or African-American (non-Hispanic)

13 14 21

Hispanic or Latino

17 19 28

Asian (non-Hispanic)

4 5 7

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 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, June 04, 2020