Fatal work-related injuries overview

Learn about fatal occupational injury surveillance and prevention projects.

Fatal Work-related Injuries

In Massachusetts, on average, 67 workers die as a result of fatal occupational injuries each year. Information about where and how these fatal injuries occur is essential to develop effective prevention strategies. OHSP has two projects addressing fatal injuries at work.

Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation (FACE) Project Overview

The goal of the Massachusetts FACE project is to learn more about factors that contribute to fatal occupational injuries and to use this information to develop and disseminate recommendations for preventing similar deaths in the future. FACE project staff conduct in-depth research-oriented investigations of fatal incidents and prepare case reports that include prevention recommendations. FACE investigators visit the incident sites and interview employers and co-workers.

These FACE reports are disseminated to those in positions to intervene in the workplace, such as employers, union leaders, training professionals, as well as health and safety professionals and advocates. In addition, some of the FACE investigations are used as the basis for hazard alerts known as FACE Facts which are more broadly disseminated throughout the state. The FACE project is funded by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). Massachusetts is one of 7 states nationwide with a FACE project.

You can download the project’s FACE brochure (DOC) for more information

Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI) Overview

Which workers are at the greatest risk of being killed on the job? What is the most common cause of fatal injury at work? Massachusetts CFOI compiles an annual census or count of work-related injury deaths in the state to answer these questions and guide prevention efforts. Included in this count are unintentional injuries (e.g. falls, electrocutions, and motor vehicles crashes) and intentional injuries (homicides and suicides) at work.

CFOI uses multiple data sources such as death certificates, workers' compensation records, and reports to regulatory agencies as well as reports in the media, to identify and characterize work-related injury deaths. Each year, Massachusetts CFOI publishes a summary of surveillance on fatal injuries at work in the state.

CFOI is a federal-state cooperative project conducted by OHSP in collaboration with the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). BLS combines Massachusetts’ CFOI data with CFOI data from other states to generate national statistics on fatal injuries at work.

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