Identification and characterization of Kentucky self-employed occupational injury fatalities using multiple sources, 1995-2004

Am J Ind Med. 2006 Dec;49(12):1005-12. doi: 10.1002/ajim.20402.


Background: Identification and characterization of occupational injury fatalities in self-employed workers typically relies on a single data source and thus may miss some cases.

Methods: Kentucky self-employed worker injury fatalities were identified using Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation (FACE) program data (1995-2004) and compared to non self-employed worker data. Occupations and industries listed on death certificates were compared to those in which the decedent was actually engaged.

Results: Of 1,281 Kentucky worker injury deaths, 28% were self-employed. Death certificates failed to identify 31% of these deaths as work-related; industry and occupation were incorrectly identified in 27% and 16%, respectively. Fifty-seven percent of the deaths were in agriculture, primarily tractor-related. For Kentucky, the self-employed crude death rate was higher (27.6/100,000) than the non self-employed worker (5.4/100,000) rate or the US (11.5/100,000) self-employed rate.

Conclusions: Multiple information sources improve identification of self-employed status in work-related injury fatalities. Effective prevention requires accurate surveillance and examination of contributing factors. Self-employed worker injuries in high-risk industries should be more fully examined for development of effective injury prevention programs.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Accidents, Occupational / mortality*
  • Accidents, Occupational / statistics & numerical data*
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Agriculture / statistics & numerical data*
  • Cause of Death
  • Employment / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Kentucky / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Population Surveillance / methods