Characterizing occupational heat-related mortality in the United States, 2000–2010: An analysis using the census of fatal occupational injuries database

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BackgroundOccupational heat-related mortality is not well studied and risk factors remain largely unknown. This paper describes the epidemiological characteristics of heat-related deaths among workers in the US 2000–2010.MethodsFatality data were obtained at the Bureau of Labor Statistics from the confidential on-site Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries database. Fatality rates and risk ratios with 95% confidence intervals were calculated by year, sex, age group, ethnicity, race, state, and industry.ResultsBetween 2000 and 2010, 359 occupational heat-related deaths were identified in the U.S., for a yearly average fatality rate of 0.22 per 1 million workers. Highest rates were found among Hispanics, men, the agriculture and construction industries, the state of Mississippi, and very small establishments.ConclusionsThis study provides the first comprehensive national profile of heat-related deaths in the U.S. workplace. Prevention efforts should be directed at small businesses and at industries and individuals with the highest risk. Am. J. Ind. Med. 58:203–211, 2015. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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