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Proposed Collection, Comment Request

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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The Department of Labor, as part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork and respondent burden, conducts a pre-clearance consultation program to provide the general public and Federal agencies with an opportunity to comment on proposed and/or continuing collections of information in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA95) [44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2)(A)]. This program helps to ensure that requested data can be provided in the desired format, reporting burden (time and financial resources) is minimized, collection instruments are clearly understood, and the impact of collection requirements on respondents can be properly assessed. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) is soliciting comments concerning the proposed extension of the “Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries.” A copy of the proposed information collection request (ICR) can be obtained by contacting the individual listed below in the Addresses section of this notice.


Written comments must be submitted to the office listed in the Addresses section of this notice on or before October 29, 2001.


Send comments to Amy A. Hobby, BLS Clearance Officer, Division of Management Systems, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Room 3255, 2 Massachusetts Avenue, NE., Washington, DC 20212, telephone number 202-691-7628 (this is not a toll free number).

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Amy A. Hobby, BLS Clearance Officer, telephone number 202-691-7628. (See Addresses section.)

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I. Background

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) was delegated responsibility by the Secretary of Labor for implementing Section 24(a) of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970. This section states that “the Secretary shall compile accurate statistics on work injuries and illnesses which shall include all disabling, serious, or significant injuries and illnesses * * *”

Prior to the implementation of the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI), the BLS generated estimates of occupational fatalities for private sector employers from a sample survey of about 280,000 establishments. Studies showed that occupational fatalities were underreported in those estimates as well as those compiled by regulatory, vital statistics, and workers' compensation systems. Estimates varied widely between 3,000 and 10,000 annually. In addition, information needed to develop prevention strategies were often missing from these earlier programs.

In the late 1980s, the National Academy of Sciences study, Counting Injuries and Illnesses in the Workplace, and the report, Keystone National Policy Dialogue on Work-Related Illness and Injury Recordkeeping, emphasized the need for the BLS to compile a complete roster of work-related fatalities because of concern over the accuracy of using a sample survey to estimate the incidence of occupational fatalities. These studies also recommended the use of all available data sources to compile detailed information for fatality prevention efforts.

The BLS tested the feasibility of collecting fatality data in this manner in 1989 and 1990. The resulting CFOI was implemented in 32 States in 1991. National data covering all 50 States and the District of Columbia were compiled and published for 1992-2000, approximately eight months after each calendar year.

The CFOI compiles comprehensive, accurate, and timely information on work-injury fatalities needed to develop effective prevention strategies. The system collects information concerning the incident, demographic information on the deceased, and characteristics of the employer.

Data are used to:

—develop employee safety training programs;

—develop and assess the effectiveness of safety standards;

—conduct research for developing prevention strategies; and

—compare fatalities between States.

In addition, States use the data to publish State reports, to identify State-specific hazards, to allocate resources for promoting safety in the workplace, and to evaluate the quality of work life in the State.

II. Desired Focus of Comments

The Bureau of Labor Statistics is particularly interested in comments that:

  • Evaluate whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility;
  • Evaluate the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used;
  • Enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and
  • Minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology, Start Printed Page 45867e.g., permitting electronic submissions of responses.

III. Current Action

In 2000, 5,915 workers lost their lives as a result of injuries received on the job. This official systematic, verifiable count mutes controversy over the various counts from different sources. The CFOI count has been adopted by the National Safety Council and other organizations as the sole source of a comprehensive count of fatal work injuries for the U.S. If this information were not collected, the confusion over the number and patterns in fatal occupational injuries would continue, thus hampering prevention efforts. By providing timely occupational fatality data, the CFOI program provides safety and health managers the information necessary to respond to emerging workplace hazards.

In 2000, the BLS Washington staff responded to over 600 requests for CFOI data from various organizations. (This figure excludes requests received by the States for State-specific data.) In addition, the BLS Website averaged about 1,900 users per month.

Washington staff also responded to numerous requests from safety organizations for staff members to participate in safety conferences and seminars. The CFOI research file, made available to safety and health groups, is being used by 40 organizations to conduct studies on specific topics, such as protective equipment use, forklift injuries, tractor-trailer tipovers, powerline electrocutions, homicides, construction industry falls, highway construction, and logging and forestry fatalities. (A current list of research articles and reports that include CFOI data can be found in the BLS Report 954, dated August 2001, Appendix G. Copies of this report are available upon request.)

Type of Review: Extension of a currently approved collection.

Agency: Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Title: Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries.

OMB Number: 1220-0133.

Affected Public: Business or other for-profit; Individuals or households; Not-for-profit institutions; Farms; Federal Government; State, Local or Tribal Government.

Frequency: On occasion.

FormTotal respondentsTotal responsesEstimated time per response (minutes)Estimated total burden hours
BLS CFOI-12,5002,50020833
Source Documents16525,000104,167

Total Burden Cost (capital/startup): $0.

Total Burden Cost (operating/maintenance): $0.

Comments submitted in response to this notice will be summarized and/or included in the request for Office of Management and Budget approval of the information collection request; they also will become a matter of public record.

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Signed at Washington, DC, this 24th day of August 2001.

Jesús Salinas,

Acting Chief, Division of Management Systems, Bureau of Labor Statistics.

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[FR Doc. 01-21905 Filed 8-29-01; 8:45 am]