Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI)

Years Available
1992 to present
Mode of Collection
The Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI) compiles comprehensive and timely information on fatal work injuries occurring in the 50 states and the District of Columbia, to monitor workplace safety and to inform private and public health efforts to improve workplace safety. The Survey is administered by the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics (DOL, BLS) in conjunction with participating state agencies. Key information about each workplace fatality is obtained by cross-referencing source records. For fatalities to be included in the census, the decedents must have been employed (that is working for pay, compensation, or profit) at the time of the event, engaged in a legal work activity, or present at the site of the incident as a requirement of their job. Fatalities that occur during a person's commute to or from work are excluded. Fatalities to volunteer workers who are exposed to the same work hazards and perform the same duties as paid employees are included.
Selected Content
Information is collected about each workplace fatality, including occupation and other worker characteristics, equipment involved, and circumstances of the event.
Population Covered
All 50 states and the District of Columbia. Data for Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Guam are collected but not included in the national totals.
Data are compiled from various federal, state, and local administrative sources including death certificates, workers' compensation reports and claims, reports to various regulatory agencies, medical examiner reports, police reports, and news reports. Source reports are matched so that each fatality is counted only once. To ensure that a fatality occurred while the decedent was at work, information is verified from two or more independent source documents or from a source document and a follow-up questionnaire. Fatal injury rates are subject to sampling errors as they are calculated using employment data from the Current Population Survey (CPS), which is based on a sample of households.
Interpretation Issues
The number of occupational fatalities and fatality rates is revised periodically. Fatalities that were initially excluded from the published count because of insufficient information to determine work relationship may subsequently be verified as work related and included in the revised counts and rates. (Increases in the published counts have averaged less than 1.5 percent of the annual total.)