Injuries, Illnesses, and Fatalities

Fact Sheet:Fatal Occupational Injuries to Members of the Resident Military[1]

Members of the resident military face a set of hazards different from that of the typical worker. In 2008[2], 53 fatal occupational injuries, or 1 percent of all fatal occupational injuries in the United States, were incurred by members of the resident military according to the U. S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI) Program[3]. Members of the resident military are more likely to be fatality injured than workers in general. In 2007[4], the fatal injury rate[5] for members of the resident military was 5.5 fatalities per 100,000 employed workers compared to the all worker rate of 3.8. Fatal Occupational Injuries to Members of the Resident Military, 2003-2008

TABLE 1. Fatal Occupational Injuries to Members of the Resident Military, 2003-2008 (1)
Year Number of Fatalities to Members of the Resident Military (1)

2003

62

2004

71

2005

48

2006

57

2007

64

2008

53

Footnotes:
(1) Data for 2008 are preliminary. Data for prior years are revised and final.

SOURCE: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, 2009.

From 2003 to 2008, there were 355 fatal military injuries that occurred in the United States[6]. Ninety-four percent of these decedents were men (334 fatalities). Most of the fatally-injured workers were White, non-Hispanics (79 percent or 280 fatalities), and two-thirds of those fatalities were incurred by members of the resident military aged 20 to 34. California had the most fatal injuries of any state over this 6 year period with 78, or 22 percent of the total. Texas (33 fatal injuries), Georgia (28), North Carolina (28), and Arizona (18) each accounted for at least 5 percent of the total.

The leading event for fatal injuries to resident military is transportation incidents, accounting for 61 percent (215) of all cases from 2003 to 2008. Of these 215 fatal injuries, 127 (59 percent) are aircraft incidents, 65 of which involved a helicopter[7]. Assaults and violent acts are the second major event leading to resident military fatalities, accounting for 61 fatalities (17 percent). Over this six year period, 92 percent of assaults and violent acts were suicides, while only 5 percent were homicides.

Multiple-fatality incidents[8] accounted for about a third of fatal injuries to resident military from 2003-2008 (111 fatalities). Ninety-eight percent of multiple fatality events are transportation events (109 fatalities), 90 of which were aircraft incidents.

Fatal Injuries to Resident Military, by Event, 2003-2008

TABLE 2. Fatal Injuries to Resident Military, by Event, 2003-2008 (1)
Event or exposure Fatalities to resident military, 2003-2008 (1)

Transportation incidents

215

Assaults and violent acts

61

Exposure to harmful substances and environments

34

Contact with objects and equipment

26

Falls

14

Total (2)

355

Footnotes:
(1) Data for 2008 are preliminary. Data for prior years are revised and final.
(2) Due to rounding and data exclusion of nonclassifiable responses, data does not sum to the total.

SOURCE: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, 2009.


Notes

[1] A work relationship exists if an event or exposure results in fatal injury to a person under the following conditions:

(1) On the employer's premises and the person was there to work; or (2) OFF the employer's premises and the person was there to work, or the event or exposure was related to the person's work status as an employee. The employer's premises include buildings, grounds, parking lots, and other facilities and property used in the conduct of business. Work is defined as legal duties, activities, or tasks that produce a product as a result; and that are done in exchange for money, goods, services, profit, or benefit. In order to be included in the CFOI, the fatalities must occur in the United States. This definition includes a provision for cases that occur in the territorial waters of the United States. It excludes fatalities that occur in the jurisdiction of another country. For the purposes of CFOI, fatally-injured members of the resident military, regardless of occupation, are deemed to have been employed in "military occupations." For example, a fatally-injured member of the resident military who was a pilot would be shown in CFOI as having died while working in a military occupation, not as a pilot.

[2] Data for 2008 are preliminary and will be revised in Spring 2010. Data for all other years are revised and final.

[3] For more information on the BLS Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI), visit the website at www.bls.gov/iif/oshcfoi1.htm.

[4] In 2009, the CFOI Program updated the way it calculates rates from employment-based to hours-based rates. Hours-based rates are not calculated for resident military under the new method, because no hours worked information is available, so comparisons with non-military rates are not applicable. More information can be found at www.bls.gov/iif/oshnotice10.htm.

[5] The fatal injury rate shown is the number of fatal work injuries per 100,000 workers employed. It is calculated using this equation: fatal injury rate = (N/W) x 100,000, where N is the number of fatal work injuries and W is the number of workers employed. Fatality rates are calculated by CFOI for those aged 16 years and older. Employment data were taken from the Current Population Survey (CPS) and the U.S. Department of Defense.

[6] For more information on fatal injuries to resident military from 1992-2003, see Stephen M. Pegula "Fatal Occupational Injuries to Members of the resident Military, 1992-2003," Compensation and Working Conditions Online, April 25, 2005; on the Internet at www.bls.gov/opub/cwc/sh20050421ar01p1.htm#2.

[7] Includes all aircraft incidents where the source and/or secondary source was a helicopter. The source of injury identifies the object, substance, bodily motion, or exposure which directly produced or inflicted the injury. The secondary source of injury identifies the object, substance, or person that generated the source of injury or that contributed to the event or exposure. The source and secondary source are based on the Occupational Injury and Illness Classification (OIICS) manual. More information on OIICS can be found here: www.bls.gov/iif/oshoiics.htm.

[8] For more information on multiple-fatality incidents see, Dino Drudi and Mark Zak, "Work-related multiple-fatality incidents," Monthly Labor Review, October 2004, p. 35; on the Internet at www.bls.gov/opub/mlr/2004/10/art2full.pdf.

Last Modified Date:November 16, 2009

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