Virginia Reports Workplace Fatality Figures for 2011

The Virginia Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI) reported a preliminary total of 127 occupational fatalities in the Commonwealth in 2011, an increase of 19 percent from the revised total of 107 fatalities reported in 2010.

Workers from the prime working age group (age 25 to 54) accounted for 66 percent of the fatalities.  Ninety four percent of the fatalities were men.  In addition, 68 percent of those who died from a workplace injury were white, non-Hispanic.

Transportation incidents, which include highway, non-highway, pedestrian, air, water, and rail fatalities, accounted for 60 fatal occupational injuries in 2011. Transportation incidents represented nearly half of all work-related deaths in Virginia.  Violence and other injuries by persons or animals accounted for 23 fatalities: 9 of these were suicides and 12 were homicides.

The number of on-the-job fatalities resulting from  contact with objects and equipment (21) accounted for 17 percent of work-related deaths in 2011.  Seventy-six percent of the contact with objects and equipment cases resulted from workers being struck by an object or equipment (16).

Work-related deaths due to falls, slips, or trips accounted for 10 deaths in 2011.  There were 12 work-related fatalities resulting from exposure to harmful substances or environments in Virginia in 2011, 6 of which were caused by exposure to electricity.

Changes to the OIICS Structure Information in this release incorporates a major revision in the Occupational Injury and Illness Classification System (OIICS), which is used to describe the characteristics of fatal work injuries. Because of the extensive revisions, data for the OIICS case characteristics for reference year 2011 represent a break in series with data for prior years.

More information on OIICS can be found at Private sector wage and salary workers accounted for 77 fatalities in 2011, followed by self employed workers with 30 and government workers with 20.

At the industry level, private sector transportation and warehousing (25 fatalities); agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting (20); and construction (16) industries recorded the highest number of fatalities in 2011.  Combined, these three sectors accounted for 48 percent of Virginia’s fatalities.

Three detailed occupations accounted for 31 percent of the Virginia’s workplace fatalities in 2011: heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers (22 fatalities); farmers, ranchers, and other agricultural managers (9); and construction laborers (8).  Forty-four percent of fatal work injuries occurred on streets or highways and 11 percent occurred at industrial places or premises.

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