Last Modified Date: September 20, 2012
Identification and verification of work-related fatalities
In 2011, there were 7 cases included for which work relationship could not be independently verified; however, the
information on the initiating source document for these cases was sufficient to determine that the incident was
likely to be job-related. Data for these fatalities are included in the Census of Fatal Occupational
Injuries (CFOI) counts. An additional 101 fatalities submitted by states were not included because the
source documents had insufficient information to determine work relationship and could not be verified by either
an independent source document or a follow-up questionnaire.
States may identify additional fatal work injuries after data collection closeout for a reference year. In addition,
other fatalities excluded from the published count because of insufficient information to determine work relationship
may subsequently be verified as work related. States have up to 7 months from this release to update their initial
published state counts. This procedure ensures that fatality data are disseminated as quickly as possible and that
legitimate cases are not excluded from the final counts. Thus, each year's initial release of data should be
considered preliminary. Final data are released in the Spring of the following year; revised counts for 2011 will
be available in 2013.
Over the last 3 years, increases in the published counts based on additional information have averaged 166 fatalities
per year or about 3 percent of the revised total. The BLS news release issued August 25, 2011 reported a total
of 4,547 fatal work injuries for 2010. With the April 2012 release of final data, an additional 143 net fatal
work injuries were added, bringing the total for 2010 to 4,690.
In September 2010, the Bureau of Labor Statistics completed a major revision to the Occupational Injury and Illness
Classification System (OIICS). The new version constitutes the first comprehensive revision to the OIICS since its
creation in December 1992. The revised structure (OIICS 2.01) will be used beginning with reference year 2011 for
both the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI) and the Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses (SOII).
As a result of the break in series, new survey ID’s have been created for the public IIF
databases (www.bls.gov/iif/data.htm) for CFOI and SOII.
Federal/State agency coverage
The Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries includes data for all fatal work injuries, whether the decedent was
working in a job covered by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) or other federal or state
agencies or was outside the scope of 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.
BLS thanks the participating states, New York City, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands,
and Guam 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 submitted 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 industries, and workers’
compensation agencies; state and local police departments; and state farm bureaus.