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The Economic Cost of Fatal Occupational Injuries in the United States, 1980–97


  • Elyce Anne Biddle

    1. Biddle: Chief, Methods and Analysis Team, Analysis and Field Evaluations Branch, Division of Safety Research, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, 1095 Willowdale Rd., MS/1811, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Morgantown, WV 26505. Phone 1-304-285-6015, Fax 1-304-285- 6235, E-mail
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According to the National Traumatic Occupational Fatalities (NTOF) surveillance system, occupational injuries claimed the lives of over 100,000 American workers from 1980 to 1997. Previous estimates presented aggregate values of life, providing no information on the cost variations for different case or worker characteristics. This research developed an interactive computer program that estimates comprehensive national costs for all occupational fatal injuries reported through NTOF, nearly $85 billion for 1980–97, and specific estimates for the burden on selected groups and characteristics of the fatality. These estimates provide an additional basis for targeting and evaluating the effectiveness of investments in prevention of occupational fatalities. (JEL I18)