The final count of fatal work injuries in the U.S. in 2008 was 5,214, up from the preliminary count of 5,071 reported in August 2009. The final 2008 total was the lowest annual total since the fatality census was first conducted in 1992. As a result of the updates, the overall 2008 fatal work injury rate for the U.S. rose slightly from 3.6 per 100,000 full-time equivalent workers to 3.7 per 100,000.
The final numbers reflect updates to the 2008 Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI) file made after the release of preliminary results in August 2009. Revisions and additions to the 2008 CFOI counts result from the identification of new cases and the revision of existing cases based on source documents received after the release of preliminary results. A table summarizing the results of the update process appears in the attached BLS notice.
Among the changes resulting from the updates:
• Workplace suicides were higher by 12 cases, bringing the workplace suicide total in 2008 to 263 cases—the highest number ever reported by the program.
• In the private construction sector fatal injuries increased by 6 cases from the preliminary count, but the final total was still 19 percent lower than the final 2007 total. The fatal work injury rate in the sector fell by 10 percent, from 10.8 fatal occupational injuries per 100,000 equivalent full-time workers in 2007 to 9.7 in 2008.
• Highway incidents were up 66 cases (or 6 percent) from the preliminary count, bringing the total number of fatal work-related highway incidents in 2008 to 1,215 cases. The final 2008 count was 14 percent lower than the final 2007 number and the lowest count since 1992.
• Fatal injuries involving falls increased by 20 from the preliminary count to 700 cases. The final count of fatal falls in 2008 represents a decline of 17 percent from the final 2007 count.
• The revised number of fatal work injuries involving White, non-Hispanic workers was higher by 103 cases, but the total number of fatal work injuries for this worker group remained the lowest total ever for the series. The revised number of fatal work injuries for Hispanic workers and for Black workers also rose, but the final numbers of fatal injuries for both groups were still down substantially from final 2007 counts (down 14 percent and 12 percent, respectively).
• The industry sectors reporting the largest net increases in fatal work injuries from the updates were transportation and warehousing (up 34 cases) and government (up 22 cases).
• Overall, 27 States revised their counts upward as a result of the update process.