Working lifetime risk of occupational fatal injury

Am J Ind Med. 1997 Apr;31(4):459-67. doi: 10.1002/(sici)1097-0274(199704)31:4<459::aid-ajim13>;2-z.


Estimates of risk accumulated over a working lifetime are used to assess the significance of many workplace health hazards. Utilizing data from the National Traumatic Occupational Fatalities (NTOF) surveillance system, estimates of the risk of work-related fatal injuries are provided for the 50 industries and the 50 occupations having the highest risks. Cause-specific risk estimates are provided for the six occupations at the greatest risk of occupational fatal injuries. Results suggest that the risks of certain work-related fatal injuries in some occupations (e.g., loggers being struck by falling objects) are of the same magnitude as risks previously identified for specific occupational illness exposures (e.g., lung cancer among uranium miners exposed to ionizing radiation). Assuming a 45-year working lifetime, cause-specific fatal injury risks reported in this paper range from a predetermined minimum of 1 death per 1,000 lifetime workers to 36.4 deaths per 1,000 lifetime workers. These results suggest that risk assessment for traumatic causes of death should be considered equally with risk assessments for health exposures, such as potential carcinogens.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Accidents, Occupational / mortality*
  • Accidents, Occupational / statistics & numerical data*
  • Cause of Death*
  • Humans
  • Industry
  • Multicenter Studies as Topic
  • Occupational Diseases / epidemiology
  • Occupational Diseases / mortality*
  • Occupational Health
  • Occupations
  • Risk Assessment
  • Survival Analysis
  • United States / epidemiology