Economic Factors Continue to Play Role in Fatal Work Injury Counts

August 26, 2011 ( – A preliminary total of 4,547 fatal work injuries were recorded in the U.S. in 2010, about the same as the final count of 4,551 fatal work injuries in 2009, according to results from the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI) program conducted by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.   

The rate of fatal work injury for U.S. workers in 2010 was 3.5 per 100,000 full-time equivalent (FTE) workers, the same as the final rate for 2009. Over the last three years, increases in the published counts based on information received after the release of preliminary data have averaged 174 fatalities per year or about 3% of the revised totals. Final 2010 CFOI data will be released in Spring 2012.

Economic factors continue to play a role in the fatal work injury counts. Total hours worked were up slightly in 2010 in contrast to the declines recorded in both 2008 and 2009, but some historically high-risk industries continued to experience declines or slow growth in total hours worked.

Key preliminary findings of the 2010 Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries include:

  • The number of fatal work injuries among the self-employed declined by 6% to 999 fatalities, more than the decline in their hours worked. The number of fatal injuries among wage and salary workers increased by 2% in 2010. 
  • Fatal work injuries in the private mining industry rose from 99 in 2009 to 172 in 2010, an increase of 74%. The fatal work injury rate for mining increased from 12.4 per 100,000 FTEs in 2009 to 19.9 per 100,000 in 2010.  
  • Fatal work injuries in the private construction sector declined by 10% from 2009 to 2010 and are down nearly 40% since 2006. 
  • Work-related fatalities resulting from fires more than doubled from 53 in 2009 to 109 in 2010 — the highest count since 2003. 
  • Workplace homicides declined 7% in 2010 to the lowest total ever recorded by the fatality census, but workplace homicides involving women increased by 13%. 
  • Fatal work injuries among non-Hispanic black or African-American workers declined by 9% in 2010, while fatalities among non-Hispanic white workers were higher by 2%. Fatal work injuries involving Hispanic or Latino workers were down 4% in 2010. 
  • The number of fatal workplace injuries among police officers increased by 40%, from 96 in 2009 to 134 in 2010. 

For the complete results of the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries visit