According to recently released preliminary results of the National Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI) program conducted by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), a total of 4,547 fatal work injuries were recorded in the United States in 2010, a figure nearly identical to the final count of 4,551 fatal work injuries recorded in 2009. The CFOI program also reported that the rates of fatal work injury for U.S. workers in 2010 and 2009 were the same: 3.5 per 100,000 full-time equivalent (FTE) workers.

The occupations with highest fatal work injury rates in 2010 included Logging (116.0 per 100,000 FTE workers), Aircraft pilots/Flight engineers (91.9), and Refuse/Recyclable material collectors (70.6).  Overall, the highest number of fatal work injuries occurred in Driver/Sales workers/Truck drivers (683), Farmers/Ranchers (300), and Police/Sheriff’s patrol officers (133). Other key preliminary findings of the 2010 CFOI program include:

  • The number of fatal work injuries among the self-employed declined by 6 percent to 999 fatalities, while the number of fatal injuries among wage and salary workers increased by 2 percent in 2010.
  • Fatal work injuries in the private mining industry rose from 99 in 2009 to 172 in 2010, an increase of 74 percent. These figures include multiple-fatality incidents at the Upper Big Branch Mine and the Deepwater Horizon oil rig.
  • Fatal work injuries in the private construction sector declined by 10 percent from 2009 to 2010 and are down nearly 40 percent since 2006.
  • Work-related fatalities resulting from fires more than doubled from 53 in 2009 to 109 in 2010, the highest count since 2003.
  • Work-related transportation incidents decreased slightly in 2010 from 2009, but still accounted for nearly 2 out of every 5 fatal work injuries in 2010.
  • Workplace homicides declined 7 percent in 2010 to the lowest total ever recorded by the fatality census. The workplace homicide total for 2010, 506 cases, represents a decline of more than 50 percent from the high of 1,080 homicides reported in 1994. However, workplace homicides involving women increased by 13 percent.
  • The number of fatal workplace injuries among police officers increased by 40 percent, from 96 deaths in 2009 to 134 deaths in 2010.
  • Workplace suicides declined slightly from a high of 263 cases in 2009 to 258 cases in 2010. Even with the decline, the number of workplace suicides in 2010 is the third highest annual total for the fatal work injury census.

As for fatal occupational injuries by state in 2010, Texas led with 456 fatal injuries, followed by California (302), Pennsylvania (219), Florida (215), and Illinois (203). The final 2010 CFOI data will be released in Spring 2012. To learn more about the 2010 CFOI program, visit:

For more information on how employers can help ensure safe workplaces for employees, please visit Employment Screening Resources (ESR) – a nationwide provider of background checks accredited by The National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS®) – at

About Employment Screening Resources (ESR):
Employment Screening Resources (ESR) literally wrote the book on background screening with “The Safe Hiring Manual” by ESR founder and President Lester Rosen. ESR streamlines the screening process and reduces administrative overhead though its proprietary technology solutions.  ESR is one of a select few firms accredited by The National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS®). This important recognition was achieved by successfully passing a third party audit demonstrating compliance with the NAPBS Background Screening Agency Accreditation Program. By choosing an accredited screening firm like ESR, employers know they have selected an agency that meets the highest industry standards. For more information about ESR, visit


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