2002 fatal work-injury data now available

By Brian Zaidman, Research Analyst Research and Statistics

Eighty-one fatal work-injuries were recorded in Minnesota in 2002, an increase of five cases from 2001, according to the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries, conducted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor. The total is above the five-year average for 1997 through 2001, which is 78 fatalities. Among industries, agriculture, forestry and fishing recorded the highest number of worker fatalities, with 22. This was an increase of six fatalities from 2001, and is the highest number of agricultural fatalities since 1996. The higher number of agricultural fatalities was due to an increase in fatalities resulting from highway accidents. Construction had the second-highest number of fatalities, with 15 cases, a decrease of two cases from last year. Among the other industry divisions, fatalities increased in finance, insurance and real estate and government. Offsetting decreases were seen in manufacturing, transportation and public utilities, wholesale trade, retail trade and services. Transportation incidents continued to be the most frequent fatal work-injury, accounting for 54 percent of the cases. Fatalities resulting from transportation incidents and exposures to harmful substances or environments increased, while fatalities due to contact with objects or equipment and falls decreased substantially. Self-employed workers accounted for 17 fatalities, including 15 fatalities to workers in agriculture, forestry and fishing. Eleven women were fatally injured in 2002, three more fatalities than in 2001. The number of fatalities of men increased from 68 in 2001, to 70 in 2002. The Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI), part of the Bureau of Labor Statistics occupational safety and health statistics program, provides the most complete count of fatal work-injuries available. The Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry collects the information about Minnesota’s workplace fatalities for the CFOI. Minnesota 2002 CFOI tables are available at www.doli.state.mn.us/research.html. National data from the CFOI program is available at www.bls.gov/iif/oshcfoi1.htm. The CFOI results are analyzed and presented each year in the Minnesota Workplace Safety Report. The report with the 2001 results is on the Web at www.doli.state.mn.us/pdf/saferpt01.pdf. The report with the analysis of the 2002 results will be available in May 2004. If you have questions about the CFOI program, need information about the number and types of fatalities or data from multiple years or specific industries, contact Brian Zaidman by e-mail at brian.zaidman@state.mn.us or by phone at (651) 284-5568.