The U.S. oil and gas extraction (OGE) industry fatality rate (25.0 deaths per 100,000 workers) remains well above the rate for all U.S. workers (3.7 per 100,000 workers), and in 2014, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) recorded an all-time high of 144 OGE worker deaths (BLS, 2015; Mason et al. 2015). OGE is a complicated, diverse, dynamic, and specialized industry that presents unique challenges to understanding trends in fatal events. In 2014, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Oil and Gas Extraction Sector Program developed a database, Fatalities in Oil and Gas Extraction (FOG), to address these challenges by collecting detailed industry specific information about OGE worker fatalities.

FOG includes all identified U.S. worker fatalities related to OGE, irrespective of the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) code of the employer. Incidents occurring during non-traditional commutes and cardiac events that begin at work are also included. FOG relies on several data sources for incident identification and information, including government agencies, media, and professional contacts.

Nine publications using FOG data were reviewed to assess the capabilities of this new database in providing information about OGE worker fatalities. The evaluation found that FOG enhances the understanding of fatal events through its broad inclusion criteria and specificity in the type of information it collects. With these features, FOG unravels the complexities OGE worker fatalities, and has been used to identify emerging issues, provide new information on worker groups not typically included in OGE fatality data, and to help better understand the risk factors leading to OGE fatalities. Its success shows FOG is powerful tool that can be used for targeted, data driven interventions.

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