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Lesia Shannon Kudelka
Communications Director and Ombudsman
(803) 896-4376

Holly Beeson
Counsel to Office of Communications
(803) 896-5216


Number of Fatal Work Injuries Continue to Fall in South Carolina

The number of fatal work-related injuries recorded in South Carolina for the past three years has declined nearly 47 percent, according to data from the Census of Fatal  Occupational Injuries (CFOI).

A preliminary total of 65 fatal work injuries were recorded in 2010, while 73 were recorded in 2009, 87 in 2008, and 122 in 2007.
Key preliminary findings of the 2010 South Carolina CFOI:

  • By occupation, fatal work injuries declined in transportation and material moving occupations, falling from 18 in 2009 to 11 to 2010.
  • Fatal work injuries in the construction and extraction occupations decreased by 47 percent in 2010 with fatalities totaling 9 in 2010 compared to 17 in 2009.
  • Deaths among men totaled 59, while women accounted for 6 fatalities.
  • Fatalities by race or ethnic origin were led by White, non-Hispanic workers at 39, followed by 13 for Black, non-Hispanic, and 10 for Hispanic or Latino workers.
  • By event or exposure, transportation incidents led the way with 29 fatalities, followed by assaults and violent acts at 12.Contact with objects and equipment saw a decrease from 11 in 2009 to 4 in 2010.
  • The primary source of worker deaths was vehicles at 29.
  • In the category of worker activity, 28 deaths occurred in vehicular and transportation operations, followed by 11 in constructing, repairing and cleaning.
  • Most deaths occurred on streets and highways at 25, followed by public buildings at 11.

The fatality census counts every death that is work related, including highway deaths and homicides which are not covered by OSHA.  Thus, any comparison between the BLS fatality census counts and OSHA counts should take into account the different coverage requirements and definitions being used by each agency. 

Of the 65 deaths on the BLS fatality census for 2010, the 29 highway deaths and the 12 assaults and violent acts did not fall under state OSHA's jurisdiction.

According to state OSHA data, 36 deaths that occurred on the job were reported to OSHA in 2010. Of the 36 deaths reported, only 15 were determined to be work-related and investigated.  The remaining 21 deaths were determined to be non-work related or not in its jurisdiction, such as three highway deaths, 15 natural causes and three sole proprietors.

The Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI) is compiled by the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, in cooperation with the South Carolina Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation. The report compiles a count of all fatal work injuries occurring in South Carolina during the calendar year. The CFOI program uses diverse state, federal, and independent data sources to identify, verify, and describe fatal work injuries. This assures counts are as complete and accurate as possible.

To access the complete report for South Carolina, go to www.scosha.llronline.com/index.asp?file=BLS/fatalitydata/2010fatal.htm
The national data can be found at: http://bls.gov/news.release/cfoi.nr0.htm

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