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20-445-BOS
Tuesday, April 14, 2020

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Fatal Work Injuries in Boston-Cambridge-Newton: 2018

Workplace Injuries Decrease Over the Year

Fatal work injuries totaled 60 in 2018 for the Boston-Cambridge-Newton, MA-NH, metropolitan area, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today.  Regional Commissioner William J. Sibley noted the number of work-related fatalities in the Boston metropolitan area decreased by 14 over the year. Since 2009, fatal occupational injuries in the metropolitan area have ranged from a low of 22 in 2012 to a high of 75 in 2016.  (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.

Type of Incident

Of the 60 fatal work injuries reported in the Boston area in 2018, falls, slips, and trips resulted in 15 deaths. The number of fatalities occurring locally due to this event was unchanged from the total recorded last year. (See table 1.) Within the falls, slips, and trips category, 11 of the 15 fatalities were due to other falls to lower level.

Four events accounted for 11 fatalities each in the Boston area: violence and other injuries by persons or animals, transportation incidents, exposure to harmful substances or environments, and contact with objects and equipment. Fatalities from violence and other injuries by persons or animals were unchanged over the year. Fatalities from transportation incidents and exposure to harmful substances declined from the previous year. The number of fatalities from contact with objects and equipment increased from the 2018 count.

Nationally, transportation incidents were the most frequent fatal workplace event in 2018, accounting for 40 percent of fatal work injuries.  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).  (See chart 2.)

Industry

The private construction industry sector had the largest number of fatalities in the Boston area with 23, up from 20 in the previous year. (See table 2.) Falls, slips, and trips, resulted in 11 of the 23 fatalities in the industry. Eighteen of those fatally injured in this sector worked in specialty trade contracting.

The trade, transportation, and utilities sector had 9 workplace fatalities in 2018, down from 16 in the previous year. The wholesale trade sector accounted for four of the fatal injuries in this industry.

Occupation

Two occupational groups, construction and extraction (23) and transportation and material moving (12), accounted for the highest number of workplace fatalities. (See table 3.) Within the construction and extraction occupations, construction trades workers (18) had the largest number of fatalities. Motor vehicle operators accounted for 8 of the 12 fatalities among transportation and material moving workers.

Additional Highlights

  • Men accounted for 58, or 97 percent, of the work-related fatalities in the Boston area, compared with 92 percent nationwide.  (See table 4.)
  • White non-Hispanics accounted for 88 percent of those who died from a workplace injury in Boston. Nationwide, this group accounted for 65 percent of work-related deaths.

  • Workers 25-54 years old accounted for 55 percent of the area’s on-the-job fatalities in 2018 compared to the 58-percent national share. Workers 55-64 years old accounted for 35 percent of the area’s workplace deaths compared to the 21-percent national share.

  • Of the 60 fatally-injured persons in Boston, 88 percent worked for wages and salaries, while the remaining were self-employed.


Technical Note

Background of the program. The Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI), part of the BLS Occupational Safety and Health Statistics (OSHS) program, compiles a count of all fatal work injuries occurring in the U.S. during the calendar year. The CFOI program uses diverse state, federal, and independent data sources to identify, verify, and describe fatal work injuries. This ensures counts are as complete and accurate as possible. For the 2018 national data, over 24,800 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 Massachusetts Department of Public 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.

The Boston-Cambridge-Newton, Mass.-N.H. Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) includes Essex, Middlesex, Norfolk, Plymouth, and Suffolk Counties in Massachusetts and Rockingham and Strafford Counties in New Hampshire.

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

Table 1. Fatal occupational injuries by event or exposure, Boston-Cambridge-Newton, MA-NH, 2017–18
Event or exposure (1) 2017 2018
Number Number Percent

Total

74 60 100

Violence and other injuries by persons or animals

11 11 18

Intentional injury by person

10 11 18

Intentional injury by other person

4 3 5

Shooting by other person--intentional

3 2 3

Hitting, kicking, beating, shoving

1 1 2

Self-inflicted injury--intentional

6 8 13

Shooting--intentional self-harm

2 1 2

Hanging, strangulation, asphyxiation--intentional self-harm

3 4 7

Inhalation of substance--intentional self-harm

1 2 3

Transportation incidents

20 11 18

Pedestrian vehicular incident

9 5 8

Pedestrian struck by vehicle in work zone

-- 1 2

Pedestrian struck by vehicle backing up in work zone

-- 1 2

Pedestrian struck by vehicle in roadway

1 1 2

Pedestrian struck by forward-moving vehicle in roadway

-- 1 2

Pedestrian struck by vehicle on side of road

1 1 2

Pedestrian struck by forward-moving vehicle on side of road

-- 1 2

Pedestrian struck by vehicle in nonroadway area

7 2 3

Pedestrian struck by forward-moving vehicle in nonroadway area

5 1 2

Pedestrian struck by vehicle backing up in nonroadway area

2 1 2

Roadway incidents involving motorized land vehicle

7 5 8

Roadway collision with other vehicle

4 3 5

Roadway collision--moving in opposite directions, oncoming

2 1 2

Roadway collision--moving perpendicularly

-- 1 2

Roadway collision--moving and standing vehicle in roadway

-- 1 2

Roadway collision with object other than vehicle

2 1 2

Vehicle struck by falling or flying object--roadway

-- 1 2

Nonroadway incident involving motorized land vehicles

1 1 2

Nonroadway collision with object other than vehicle

-- 1 2

Fires and explosions

1 1 2

Explosions

-- 1 2

Explosion of pressure vessel, piping, or tire

-- 1 2

Falls, slips, trips

15 15 25

Falls to lower level

13 15 25

Fall from collapsing structure or equipment

1 2 3

Fall from collapsing structure or equipment 26 to 30 feet

-- 1 2

Fall through surface or existing opening

1 2 3

Fall through surface or existing opening more than 30 feet

-- 2 3

Other fall to lower level

11 11 18

Other fall to lower level less than 6 feet

2 1 2

Other fall to lower level 6 to 10 feet

1 2 3

Other fall to lower level 11 to 15 feet

1 3 5

Other fall to lower level 26 to 30 feet

2 3 5

Other fall to lower level more than 30 feet

1 1 2

Exposure to harmful substances or environments

22 11 18

Exposure to electricity

2 1 2

Direct exposure to electricity

2 1 2

Direct exposure to electricity, greater than 220 volts

1 1 2

Exposure to temperature extremes

-- 1 2

Contact with hot objects or substances

-- 1 2

Exposure to other harmful substances

20 9 15

Nonmedical use of drugs or alcohol--unintentional overdose

20 9 15

Contact with objects and equipment

5 11 18

Struck by object or equipment

5 9 15

Struck by powered vehicle--nontransport

2 4 7

Struck or run over by rolling powered vehicle

-- 1 2

Struck by swinging part of powered vehicle

-- 2 3

Struck by falling part of powered vehicle still attached

-- 1 2

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

3 5 8

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

-- 1 2

Caught in or compressed by equipment or objects

-- 2 3

Caught in running equipment or machinery

-- 1 2

Caught in running equipment or machinery during maintenance, cleaning

-- 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 2. Fatal occupational injuries by industry, Boston-Cambridge-Newton, MA-NH, 2017–18
Industry (1) 2017 2018
Number Number Percent

Total

74 60 100

Private industry

70 54 90

Goods producing

25 30 50

Natural resources and mining

3 1 2

Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting

3 1 2

Forestry and logging

1 1 2

Construction

20 23 38

Construction

20 23 38

Construction of buildings

7 5 8

Specialty trade contractors

13 18 30

Manufacturing

-- 6 10

Manufacturing

-- 6 10

Food manufacturing

-- 1 2

Fabricated metal product manufacturing

-- 1 2

Machinery manufacturing

-- 3 5

Miscellaneous manufacturing

1 1 2

Service providing

45 24 40

Trade, transportation, and utilities

16 9 15

Wholesale trade

-- 4 7

Merchant wholesalers, durable goods

-- 2 3

Merchant wholesalers, nondurable goods

-- 2 3

Retail trade

12 2 3

Gasoline stations

-- 1 2

Miscellaneous store retailers

-- 1 2

Transportation and warehousing

4 3 5

Transit and ground passenger transportation

1 2 3

Other transit and ground passenger transportation

-- 1 2

Support activities for transportation

-- 1 2

Financial activities

5 2 3

Finance and insurance

1 1 2

Insurance carriers and related activities

-- 1 2

Real estate and rental and leasing

4 1 2

Real estate

2 1 2

Professional and business services

7 7 12

Professional and technical services

2 1 2

Professional, scientific, and technical services

2 1 2

Administrative and waste services

5 6 10

Administrative and support services

5 4 7

Waste management and remediation services

-- 2 3

Educational and health services

5 2 3

Health care and social assistance

3 2 3

Ambulatory health care services

-- 1 2

Hospitals

-- 1 2

Leisure and hospitality

7 2 3

Accommodation and food services

5 2 3

Food services and drinking places

5 2 3

Other services, except public administration

5 2 3

Other services, except public administration

5 2 3

Repair and maintenance

5 1 2

Religious, grantmaking, civic, professional, and similar organizations

-- 1 2

Government (2)

4 6 10

Federal government

-- 1 2

State government

1 -- --

Local government

3 5 8

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 3. Fatal occupational injuries by occupation, Boston-Cambridge-Newton, MA-NH, 2017–18
Occupation (1) 2017 2018
Number Number Percent

Total

74 60 100

Management occupations

1 1 2

Top executives

-- 1 2

Business and financial operations occupations

-- 1 2

Business operations specialists

-- 1 2

Computer and mathematical occupations

1 -- --

Architecture and engineering occupations

-- 1 2

Engineers

-- 1 2

Life, physical, and social science occupations

1 1 2

Social scientists and related workers

-- 1 2

Legal occupations

2 -- --

Arts, design, entertainment, sports, and media occupations

3 -- --

Healthcare support occupations

1 -- --

Protective service occupations

2 2 3

Law enforcement workers

-- 2 3

Food preparation and serving related occupations

4 1 2

Food and beverage serving workers

2 1 2

Building and grounds cleaning and maintenance occupations

5 5 8

Supervisors of building and grounds cleaning and maintenance workers

1 2 3

Building cleaning and pest control workers

2 1 2

Grounds maintenance workers

2 2 3

Sales and related occupations

6 3 5

Supervisors of sales workers

2 2 3

Retail sales workers

3 1 2

Office and administrative support occupations

6 1 2

Information and record clerks

1 1 2

Farming, fishing, and forestry occupations

3 1 2

Supervisors of farming, fishing, and forestry workers

-- 1 2

Construction and extraction occupations

21 23 38

Supervisors of construction and extraction workers

2 3 5

Construction trades workers

19 18 30

Other construction and related workers

-- 2 3

Installation, maintenance, and repair occupations

6 4 7

Supervisors of installation, maintenance, and repair workers

2 1 2

Other installation, maintenance, and repair occupations

2 3 5

Production occupations

2 3 5

Metal workers and plastic workers

-- 2 3

Plant and system operators

-- 1 2

Transportation and material moving occupations

9 12 20

Motor vehicle operators

4 8 13

Material moving workers

4 4 7

Military specific occupations (2)

-- 1 2

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: 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 selected demographic characteristics, Boston-Cambridge-Newton, MA-NH, 2017–18
Worker characteristics 2017 2018
Number Number Percent

Total

74 60 100

Employee status

Wage and salary workers (1)

59 53 88

Self-employed (2)

15 7 12

Gender

Men

66 58 97

Women

8 2 3

Age (3)

20 to 24 years

6 1 2

25 to 34 years

13 11 18

35 to 44 years

16 11 18

45 to 54 years

15 11 18

55 to 64 years

14 21 35

65 years and over

9 5 8

Race or ethnic origin (4)

White, non-Hispanic

55 53 88

Black or African-American, non-Hispanic

4 2 3

Hispanic or Latino

12 5 8

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 data for Hispanics and Latinos.

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, April 14, 2020