The objective of the study was to ascertain the completeness of Workers' Compensation files to identify fatal occupational injuries. The number of fatalities was counted using two independent sources: the Quebec Workers' Compensation Board (QWCB), and the Coroner's Death Certificates (CDCs), for the years 1987 and 1988. The observed number of cases was 352. The QWCB identified 83.8% of those and CDCs 69.3%. The true number of deaths was estimated, using the capture-recapture methods, to be between 369 and 401. The compensation coverage of work-related fatalities was 66.1% in workers 55 years of age and older and 8.3% in farming occupations. Therefore, Workers' Compensation statistics are inadequate as the single source in these two categories and their exclusive use thus far has led to a failure in recognizing these issues as public health priorities.