Work Deaths and Injuries

The method for estimating total work-related deaths and injuries was discussed previously. The breakdown of deaths by industry division for the current year is obtained from CFOI. The estimate of nonfatal, medically consulted injuries by industry division is made using the Survey of Occupational Injury and Illnesses estimate of total recordable injury and illness after correcting for the exclusion of self-employed, unpaid family workers and federal government employees.


The employment estimates for 1992 to the present were changed for the 1998 edition. Estimates for these years in prior editions are not comparable. The total employment figure used by NSC represents the number of persons in the civilian labor force, aged 16 and older, who were wage or salary workers, self-employed or unpaid family workers, plus active duty military personnel residing in the United States. The total employment estimate involves three figures: total civilian employment from the Current Population Survey (CPS) as published in Employment and Earnings, plus the difference between total resident population and total civilian population, which represents active duty military personnel.

Employment by industry is obtained from an unpublished BLS table titled, “Employed and experienced unemployed persons by detailed industry and class of worker, Annual Average 2024 (based on CPS).”

Time lost is the product of the number of cases and the average time lost per case. Deaths average 150 work days lost in the current year and 5,850 in future years; permanent disabilities involve 75 and 565 days lost in current and future years, respectively; temporary disabilities involve 17 days lost in the current year only. Off-the-job injuries to workers are assumed to result in similar lost time.

Off-the-job deaths and injuries are estimated by assuming employed persons incur injuries at the same rate as the entire population.

Motor vehicleEstimates of miles traveled, registered vehicles and licensed drivers are published by the Federal Highway Administration in Highway Statistics and Traffic Volume Trends.