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Health Indicator Report of Occupational Health: Fatal Work-Related Injuries

Each year, over 5,000 cases of work-related fatalities are reported to the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI) Program administered by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). On an average day, 14 workers die as a result of injuries sustained at work. Worker fatalities have decreased approximately 16% from a decade earlier. New Mexico has consistently had higher work-related injury fatality rates than the U.S. as a whole. Compared to other states, New Mexico has higher rates of employment in industries, such as agriculture and mining, with higher fatality rates overall. New Mexico?s rural nature, with increased time to emergency health care and a higher incidence of roadway fatalities, may also contribute in our state?s elevated rates .


The denominator that the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) uses to calculate fatality rates changed in 2008 from the number employed persons to full-time equivalents (FTEs). The new FTE-based rate is derived by multiplying the average number of employed persons at work and the average hours each employee worked, divided by 2000 (1 FTE= 2000 hours). New Mexico?s rates for all rates shown here are FTE-based and may differ from rates posted on the CSTE website.

Data Sources

  • U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries
  • United States Bureau of Labor Statistics/Census Bureau Current Population Survey http://www.census.g

Data Interpretation Issues

Fatalities of workers younger than 16 or in the military may be included in the numerator, yet the denominator of these rates are generated from employment statistics that exclude workers under 16 and resident military personnel. This may result in a slight overestimation of state rates as compared with BLS-published rates. Under the CFOI system, each state counts all worker fatalities that occur within its borders. This count serves as the numerator for the state's fatality rate; however, the denominator for this rate is estimated based on the number of workers who reside in the state. This may result in a slight overestimation of state rates, if deceased persons working in-state were out-of-state residents and a slight underestimation, if deceased workers were in-state residents but were fatally injured in other states


Annual number of fatal work-related injuries (numerator) Annual crude fatality rate per 100,000 full-time equivalent workers (FTEs) age 16 years or older.


All fatal work-related injuries reported to the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI).


Total hours worked by all employees.

Healthy People Objective: OSH-1, Reduce deaths from work-related injuries

U.S. Target: Not applicable, see subobjectives in this category

Other Objectives

Baseline: 4.0 work-related injury deaths per 100,000 full-time equivalent workers occurred in 2007 Target: 3.6 deaths per 100,000 full-time equivalent workers

How Are We Doing?

Fatal work-related injury rates have fallen for New Mexico over time.

How Do We Compare With the U.S.?

New Mexico has consistently had significantly higher rates than the U.S.

What Is Being Done?

Work-related injury fatalities have been added to the list of occupational notifiable conditions. BLS Census of Fatal Occupational Injury research data is being acquired for New Mexico to perform an in-depth characterization of work-related fatalities in our state.

Available Services

Your rights under New Mexico Workers? Compensation Act: If you are injured in a work-related accident: Your employer / insurer must pay all reasonable and necessary medical costs. You may or may not have the right to choose your health care provider. If your employer / insurer has not given you written instructions about who chooses first, call an ombudsman. In an emergency, get emergency medical care first. If you are off work for more than 7 days, your employer / insurer must pay wage benefits to partially offset your lost wages. If you suffer ?permanent impairment,? you may have the right to receive partial wage benefits for a longer period of time. Go to or call Telephone: 505-841-6000, In-state Toll Free: 1-800-255-7965 to get in touch with an ombudsman. The New Mexico Occupational Health and Safety Act assures that employees have the right to work in a safe and healthy environment. Employees or their representatives have the right to file a complaint requesting an inspection if they believe unsafe or unhealthful conditions exist in their workplace. Call (505) 476-8700. Ask for the compliance officer on duty to discuss your complaint or go to for more information.

Health Program Information

Go to the NMOHSP web page to find out more about occupational health surveillance in New Mexico.
Page Content Updated On 08/31/2012, Published on 08/25/2014
The information provided above is from the New Mexico Department of Health's NM-IBIS web site ( The information published on this website may be reproduced without permission. Please use the following citation: "Retrieved Mon, 18 March 2019 from New Mexico Department of Health, Indicator-Based Information System for Public Health Web site:".

Content updated: Mon, 25 Aug 2014 11:41:12 MDT