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News Release Information

21-324-ATL
Thursday, March 25, 2021

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Technical information:
Media contact:
  • (404) 893-4220

Fatal Occupational Injuries in North Carolina — 2019

Fatal work injuries totaled 186 in 2019 for North Carolina, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Regional Commissioner Janet S. Rankin noted that the number of work-related fatalities in North Carolina was up from the previous year. (See chart 1.) Fatal occupational injuries in the state have ranged from a high of 234 in 2000 to a low of 109 in 2013.

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


Fatal event or exposure

In North Carolina, transportation incidents resulted in 74 fatal work injuries and falls, slips, and trips accounted for 36 fatalities. These two major categories accounted for 59 percent of all workplace fatalities in the state. (See table 1.) Worker deaths from transportation incidents were down from 84 over the year and worker fatalities due to falls, slips, and trips were up from 23.

Violence and other injuries by persons or animals was the third-most frequent fatal work event with 30 fatalities, up from 23 in the prior year. Contact with objects and equipment resulted in 29 work-related deaths, up from 24 in 2018.

Nationally, transportation incidents were the most frequent fatal workplace event in 2019, accounting for 40 percent of fatal work injuries. (See chart 2.) Falls, slips, and trips was the second-most common fatal event (17 percent), followed by violence and other injuries by persons or animals (16 percent).


Industry

The private construction industry had 39 fatalities in North Carolina. Transportation incidents resulted in 11 of the 39 fatalities in the industry. (See table 2.) The private administrative and support and waste management and remediation services industry had 25 workplace fatalities. Contact with objects and equipment resulted in nine workplace fatalities in the industry.

Occupation

The transportation and material moving occupational group had the highest number of workplace fatalities with 59. (See table 3.) Heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers accounted for 32 of the 59 fatalities among transportation and material moving workers. The construction and extraction occupational group had the second highest number of workplace fatalities with 34. Construction laborers accounted for 10 of the 34 fatalities among construction and extraction workers.

Additional highlights

  • Men accounted for 93 percent of the work-related fatalities in North Carolina, similar to the national share. (See table 4.) Transportation incidents made up 39 percent of the fatalities for men in North Carolina.

  • White non-Hispanics accounted for 65 percent of those who died from a workplace injury. Nationwide, this group accounted for 62 percent of work-related deaths.

  • Workers 25-54 years old accounted for 45 percent of the state’s work-related fatalities in 2019, compared to 55 percent of on-the-job fatalities nationally.

  • Of the 186 fatal work injuries in North Carolina, 84 percent worked for wages and salaries; the remainder were self-employed. The most frequent fatal event for wage and salary workers was transportation incidents; contact with objects and equipment was the most frequent event for self-employed workers.

Changes in Industry and Occupation Classification Structure

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

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

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


Technical Note

Background of the program. The Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI), part of the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Occupational Safety and Health Statistics (OSHS) program, is a count of all fatal work injuries occurring in the U.S. during the calendar year. The CFOI uses a variety of state, federal, and independent data sources to identify, verify, and describe fatal work injuries. This ensures counts are as complete and accurate as possible. For the 2019 national data, over 25,100 unique source documents were reviewed as part of the data collection process. For technical information and definitions for the CFOI, see the BLS Handbook of Methods on the BLS website at www.bls.gov/opub/hom/cfoi/home.htm and the CFOI definitions at www.bls.gov/iif/oshcfdef.htm.

Federal/State agency coverage. The CFOI includes data for all fatal work injuries, some of which may be outside the scope of other agencies or regulatory coverage. Comparisons between CFOI counts and those released by other agencies should account for the different coverage requirements and definitions used by each agency. For more information on the scope of CFOI, see www.bls.gov/iif/cfoiscope.htm and www.bls.gov/opub/hom/cfoi/concepts.htm.

Acknowledgments. BLS thanks the North Carolina Department of Labor for their efforts in collecting accurate, comprehensive, and useful data on fatal work injuries. BLS also appreciates the efforts of all federal, state, local, and private sector entities that provided source documents used to identify fatal work injuries. Among these agencies are the Occupational Safety and Health Administration; the National Transportation Safety Board; the U.S. Coast Guard; the Mine Safety and Health Administration; the Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs (Federal Employees' Compensation and Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation divisions); the Federal Railroad Administration; the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration; state vital statistics registrars, coroners, and medical examiners; state departments of health, labor, and industrial relations and workers' compensation agencies; state and local police departments; and state farm bureaus.

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

Table 1. Fatal occupational injuries by event or exposure, North Carolina, 2018–19
Event or exposure (1)20182019
NumberNumberPercent

Total

178186100

Violence and other injuries by persons or animals

233016

Intentional injury by person

202815

Intentional injury by other person

82111

Self-inflicted injury--intentional

1274

Transportation incidents

847440

Aircraft incidents

--53

Rail vehicle incidents

--11

Pedestrian vehicular incident

9158

Roadway incidents involving motorized land vehicle

644323

Nonroadway incident involving motorized land vehicles

584

Fires and explosions

432

Fires

--11

Explosions

321

Falls, slips, trips

233619

Falls on same level

474

Falls to lower level

192916

Exposure to harmful substances or environments

19137

Exposure to electricity

111

Exposure to other harmful substances

14126

Contact with objects and equipment

242916

Struck by object or equipment

181910

Caught in or compressed by equipment or objects

563

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

--42

Overexertion and bodily reaction

------

Footnotes:
(1) Based on the BLS Occupational Injury and Illness Classification System (OIICS) 2.01 implemented for 2011 data forward.

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


Table 2. Fatal occupational injuries by industry, North Carolina, 2019
Industry (1)NumberPercent

Total

186100

Private industry (2)

17091

Goods producing

----

Natural resources and mining

116

Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting

116

Construction

3921

Manufacturing

----

Service providing (3)

----

Trade, transportation, and utilities

----

Wholesale trade

53

Retail trade

84

Information

----

Financial activities

----

Real estate and rental and leasing

32

Professional and business services

----

Administrative and support and waste management and remediation services

2513

Educational and health services

----

Leisure and hospitality

179

Arts, entertainment, and recreation

32

Accommodation and food services

148

Food services and drinking places

137

Other services, except public administration

95

Government (4)

169

Federal government

----

State government

42

Local government

105

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

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


Table 3. Fatal occupational injuries by occupation, North Carolina, 2019
Occupation (1)NumberPercent

Total

186100

Management occupations

105

Business and financial operations occupations

----

Computer and mathematical occupations

----

Architecture and engineering occupations

----

Life, physical, and social science occupations

32

Community and social service occupations

----

Legal occupations

----

Educational instruction and library occupations

----

Arts, design, entertainment, sports, and media occupations

----

Healthcare practitioners and technical occupations

----

Healthcare support occupations

----

Protective service occupations

74

Law enforcement workers

21

Police officers

21

Food preparation and serving related occupations

74

Building and grounds cleaning and maintenance occupations

1810

Grounds maintenance workers

169

Personal care and service occupations

----

Sales and related occupations

95

Office and administrative support occupations

53

Farming, fishing, and forestry occupations

63

Construction and extraction occupations

3418

Construction trades workers

2916

Construction laborers

105

Installation, maintenance, and repair occupations

169

Production occupations

53

Transportation and material moving occupations

5932

Air transportation workers

53

Motor vehicle operators

4323

Driver/sales workers and truck drivers

3921

Driver/sales workers

42

Heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers

3217

Light truck drivers

32

Material moving workers

95

Military specific occupations (2)

----

Footnotes:
(1) CFOI has used several versions of the Standard Occupation Classification (SOC) system since 2003 to define occupation. For complete information on the version of SOC used in this year, see our definitions page at www.bls.gov/iif/oshcfdef.htm. Cases where occupation is unknown are included in the total.
(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. For complete information on how the data are coded and presented see our definitions page at www.bls.gov/iif/oshcfdef.htm. Dashes indicate no data reported or data that do not meet publication criteria. CFOI fatal injury counts exclude illness-related deaths unless precipitated by an injury event.


Table 4. Fatal occupational injuries by selected demographic characteristics, North Carolina, 2018–19
Worker characteristics20182019
NumberNumberPercent

Total

178186100

Employee status

Wage and salary workers (1)

15315684

Self-employed (2)

253016

Gender

Men

16217393

Women

16137

Age (3)

18 to 19 years

--42

20 to 24 years

21116

25 to 34 years

242413

35 to 44 years

252513

45 to 54 years

363519

55 to 64 years

414926

65 years and over

293820

Race or ethnic origin (4)

White, non-Hispanic

11212065

Black or African-American, non-Hispanic

424022

Hispanic or Latino

161910

American Indian or Alaska Native, non-Hispanic

432

Asian, non-Hispanic

342

Footnotes:
(1) May include volunteers and workers receiving other types of compensation. Cases where employment status is unknown are included in the counts of wage and salary workers.
(2) Includes self-employed workers, owners of unincorporated businesses and farms, paid and unpaid family workers, and may include some owners of incorporated businesses or members of partnerships.
(3) Information may not be available for all age groups.
(4) Persons identified as Hispanic or Latino may be of any race. The race categories shown exclude data for Hispanics and Latinos. Cases where ethnicity is unknown are included in counts of non-Hispanic workers.

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

 

Last Modified Date: Thursday, March 25, 2021