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Department Releases Report on Workplace Fatalities

10/14/2002

TALLAHASSEE-The Florida Department of Insurance, Division of Workers' Compensation, released a census report today revealing that workplace fatalities in Florida rose by 12 percent in 2001, marking the first increase in three years. Specifically, there were increases in the number of fatalities due to exposure to harmful substances or environments, falls and transportation incidents.

The Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI) is conducted annually by the Division of Workers' Compensation in partnership with the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics. This year's report cited a total of 368 work-related fatalities, with 91 percent of the incidents occurring among males. The number of injuries among Hispanic workers increased, but they accounted for the same percentage (23 percent) of the overall total as the previous year. The age group that includes workers between the ages of 35 and 44 years had the highest number of deaths in 2001. Forty-one (11 percent) were under 25 years old.

Transportation incidents were the leading cause of work-related deaths, representing 41 percent of all fatal injuries. Assaults and violent acts, totaling 68 deaths, were the second leading cause of fatalities, including 45 homicides.

Work-related fatalities in the construction industry accounted for 24 percent of the total. Falls were the most frequent event leading to death in this industry division, representing 46 percent of construction fatalities.

More workers employed as operators, fabricators and laborers died on-the-job than any other occupational group. Of 111 total fatalities, 67 occurred among employees classified as working in transportation and material moving occupations such as truck drivers, industrial truck and tractor equipment operators.

The CFOI utilizes a variety of state and federal data sources to identify, verify, and profile work-related fatalities. The report is intended to be a tool for safety promotion, training, resource allocation, standards assessment and hazard alertness.

Visit www.fldfs.com and click Workers' Compensation to view the 2001 CFOI data related to fatal occupational injuries occurring in Florida.