Original article

Scand J Work Environ Health 1992;18(1):30-33    pdf


Work-related deaths in construction painting.

by Suruda AJ

Analysis of investigation records of the United States Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) concerning work-related deaths in Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) 1721, construction painting, showed a higher risk of fatal injury than expected from cohort studies including injuries on and off the job. Work-related death rates were 2.3 x 10(-4)/year (ie, three to five times that of general industry). Of the 129 deaths investigated, the largest category was falls (N = 65), followed by electrocution (N = 40) and asphyxiation from solvents or oxygen deficiency (N = 6). Eighteen deaths had other causes. The average OSHA fine for the employer was USD 607.00/fatality. Only 31% of the deaths occurred at firms covered by a union contract. Risk of fatal injury was the highest for small firms with fewer than 10 employees. Cohort mortality studies based on records from unions or large employers probably exclude many small firms and so underestimate the risk of fatal injury to painters.