The National Traumatic Occupational Fatalities surveillance system recorded 1518 fire- and flame-related occupational fatalities among the civilian workforce in the United States between 1980 and 1994. The fatalities resulted from 1221 separate incidents, of which 122 involved more than one victim and accounted for 419 of 1518 deaths. Nearly 4 of 10 fatalities resulting from a multiple-victim fire were workers in the manufacturing industry. Similarly, the highest frequency of fatalities in single-victim events, over one fourth, were in manufacturing. For one fourth of the fatalities within each event category, the usual occupation of the deceased was a precision production, craft, and repair worker. Although this study sheds light on selected characteristics of these fatalities, additional research on the causal factors associated with single- and multiple-victim events is needed to present specific recommendations for prevention efforts.
From the Surveillance and Field Investigations Branch, Division of Safety Research, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Morgantown, W.V.
Address correspondence to: Elyce Anne Biddle, BA, Surveillance and Field Investigations Branch, Division of Safety Research, NIOSH, 1095 Willowdale Road, Morgantown, WV 26505-2888.