April 28, 2009

Estimated Costs

According to NIOSH data from 2003; farming, fishing, and forestry occupations have the highest number of fatalities in the U.S. (7,936 people). The costs of these fatalities were roughly $3,774 million with an average of $482,000 per fatality (NIOSH, 2006). Data taken from the Bureau of Labor Statistics Annual Survey in 1993, ranked Alaska 1st in the number of workers employed in an agricultural, forestry, or fishing industry. Because there are such a high number of workers employed in the fishing industry in Alaska, there are also high costs associated with commercial fishing injuries and fatalities. Data from Waehrer et al. (2004) looked at statistics taken from the 1993 Bureau of Labor Survey, and found that Alaska has the highest % of costs resulting from fatalities (53.9%), with $160 million for non-fatal injuries and $187 million for fatal injuries. The data does not specify what occupations were the major contributors to the high costs, but because commercial fishing is one of the main industries in Alaska, one can speculate that it is playing a big factor.