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Public Safety Final 12-15-11 -   4.1 - Workplace Fatalities

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Public Safety Final 12-15-11
1. Prison Operations
2. Community Corrections
3. Emergency Readiness
4. Worker Safety
Action Plan

4.1 - Workplace Fatalities
How many fatalities are there in Washington workplaces each year?

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Data Notes



Data Source:

Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI) National and State data.

Measure Definition: Data includes worker deaths due to acute traumatic injuries while on the job.  Data does not include 1) diseases from long term exposure 2) deaths due to natural causes 3) fatalities due to a previous incident.
Target Rationale: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) established a target to reduce deaths from work-related injuries to 3.2 by 2010.  L&I initially set a target of 3.0 for Washington by 2010; now we have set a new target of 2.0 per 100,000 workers by 2015.
Link to Agency Strategic Plan:

Keep Washington Safe and Working; prevent and reduce worker injuries, illness, and disability.


Notes: (optional)

There is approximately an 18 month lag on workplace fatality rate data for states. Final 2009 State rates will be available mid-2011. The Federal Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) uses calculations of hours worked in each state to determine relative rates. Projected 2009 rate based on preliminary CFOI fatality data for 2009, and BLS Current Population Survey Employment (at work) data.

Also Available
Action Plan: Yes
Extended Analysis: Yes

 Drill Down Measures

 Summary Analysis

Washington’s workplace fatality rates remain below the national average and continue to decline.  The most recently reported rate is 2.6 per 100,000 workers.


  • Workplace fatality data is a lagging indicator of the overall effectiveness of occupational safety and health prevention efforts.  While statistically quite variable, the indicator for Washington consistently ranks below the national average and in the lower third of all states. 
  • Construction fatalities continue to decline.
  • L&I distributes hazard alert bulletins to industry groups where fatalities have occurred.  To see a copy of these hazard alert bulletins, go to:


  • 40 workers have died on the job from January 1, 2011 through October 31, 2011; 86 workers died on the job in 2010 compared with 65 in 2009.  Seven tractor related fatalities and the seven Tesoro Refinery deaths drive the 2010 numbers up.  L&I continues to find widespread serious violations of safety and health requirements throughout the refinery industry.