Workplace Injury Statistics & Facts 2022

Workplace Injury Statistics

An average of 2.8 workers out of 100 get injured every year in workplace accidents in the U.S. This costs the U.S around $250 billion each year. In 2019, there were 2.8 million injuries and nonfatal workplace accidents according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. This number, however, has been on a downward trend in the last decade.

The workplace injury statistics in this article are taken from authorized databases including the National Safety Council, the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

Table of context:

How Common are Workplace Injuries?

How Common are Workplace Injuries?

In 1992 there were 15.7 injuries per 100 full-time workers in the U.S.; that number dropped to 11.4 by 1999, which is when the BLS began tracking it separately from nonfatal occupational illnesses and illnesses caused by exposure to toxic substances or ionizing radiation (which are now tracked under another category).

According to the BLS, there were 4,585 fatal occupational injuries in 2015 — the lowest number since record-keeping began in 1992. Fatal injuries in the private industry declined by 6 percent from 2014 to 2015.

The 2017 report shows that fatal occupational injuries declined by 1% from 2016 to 2017. The number of fatalities also fell from 4,836 in 2016 to 4,832 in 2017.

However, the rate per 100,000 full-time equivalent workers increased slightly from 3.4 to 3.5 during this period. This means that for every 100,000 full-time equivalent workers, there were 3.5 deaths due to workplace injuries in 2017 compared with 3.4 deaths in 2016.

According to 2019 statistics, 60% of all workplace injury cases were men and 40% were female. This number was slightly higher for women working government jobs, with 47% of all workplace injury cases being women and 53% being men.

Workplace injury by industry

Workplace injury by industry

The leading industry for workplace injuries is construction, followed by transportation, mining, and manufacturing. Data shows that 20% of all workplace injuries happened on construction sites. In 2019, a total of 1,061 construction workers died on their job. This accounts for 1 in 5 workplace deaths in the U.S.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) has been tracking workplace injuries in the United States since 1992. Since then, there has been a steady decline in the number of workplace injuries reported.

In 2019, 5333 workers died during their job. This breaks down to 15 work-related deaths happening each day across the United States. This means that an average of 3 construction workers lost their lives every day of the year.

Line cooks, on the other hand, have the highest chances of falling ill on the job. According to a study held by the University of California, San Francisco, cooks are the most likely to contract a contagious virus in their workplace.

In 2020 cooks also had the highest risk of dying during the pandemic. The study also revealed that the mortality rate for cooks increased by 60% when the pandemic reached its peak. Workers who are also at risk of contracting a contagious virus are bakers, construction workers, agricultural workers, and those who work in warehouses.

Industry division Hours worked (millions) Deaths 2020 Deaths % change from 2019 Deaths per 100,000 full-time equivalent workers 2020 Deaths per 100,000 full-time equivalents workers Change from 2019 Medically consulted injuries
All industries 269,900 4,113 -10% 3.0 -3% 4,000,000
Agriculture 4,700 481 -11% 20.5 -7% 110,000
Mining 1,500 77/td> -37% 10.3 -29% 10,000
Construction 19,600 958 -4% 9.8 7 250,000
Manufacturing 28,900 300 NA 2.0 NA 450,000
Wholesale trade 6,700 141 -12% 4.2 -5% 80,000
Retail trade 26,800 139 -15% 1.0 -9% 420,000
Transportation and warehousing 11,900 749 -14% 12.6 -5% 240,000
Utilities 2,200 17 -10% 1.5 -12% 20,000
Information 4,600 27 NA 1.2 NA 20,000
Financial activities 20,200 65 -8% 0.6 -14% 80,000
Professional and business service 34,300 354 NA 2.1 NA 190,000
Educational and health services 42,400 111 -30% 0.5 -29% 1,060,000
Leisure and hospitality 17,100 153 -13% 1.8 20% 230,000
Other services 11,100 140 -9% 2.5 9% 100,000
Government 37,900 316 1% 1.7 6% 740,000

Workplace injury Statistics by industry

Workplace injury Statistics by industry

In 2016, The State of California had the highest number of non-fatal lost-time cases for private industry workers with an incidence rate of 3.6 cases per 100 full-time workers.

Alaska had the highest incidence rate for private industry non-fatal lost-time cases at 4.7 cases per 100 full-time workers. While New York had the highest number of non-fatal lost-time cases for federal government workers with an incidence rate of 1.3 cases per 100 full-time workers during that same year.

In 2019, 488 people died in the state of Texas while on the job. In California, that number was 422. Although the rates were high in both states, they were lower when the incident rate per 100,000 employees was recorded. In Texas, there were 3.8 deaths per 100,000 employees while California had 2.3 deaths per 100,000 employees.

States that have the highest rates per 100,000 employees include:

Wyoming 11.5
Alaska 9.9
North Dakota 9.6
West Virginia 7.9
South Dakota 6.9
Mississippi 6.7

Georgia, Delaware, and Arkansas are considered the top three safest states to work in as of 2019. Other states that have a low workplace injury rate include New York, New Jersey, Louisiana, Ohio, Massachusetts, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, and Texas.

Illinois, Alabama, New Mexico, Maryland, Tennessee, Utah, and Missouri had a 2.8% national average rate.

Most Common Non – Fatal Workplace Injuries

The BLS estimates that the average cost per case for a non-fatal injury is $17,300 per person in medical expenses, lost wages, or reduced quality of life. Safety experts say many workplace injuries could be prevented if employers followed basic safety rules and provided proper training to their employees.

Here are some of the common causes of workplace injuries:

Slips, trips, and falls

Slips, trips, and falls – According to OSHA data, slips and falls account for more than 25 percent of all fatalities in the workplace; most slip-and-fall deaths occur when workers fall from ladders or stairs. Falls are also one of the leading causes of traumatic brain injuries, which can result in permanent disability or death for workers who suffer them. In fact, TBIs account for about 20 percent of all workplace fatalities each year according to OSHA data; this makes TBIs one of the leading causes of death from workplace injury overall among all industries.

Back and neck injuries

Back and neck injuries – These account for about 38 percent of all workplace injuries, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The most common cause of these injuries is overexertion, which can result from lifting heavy objects or performing repetitive motions. About 2 million Americans suffer from a back injury every year. Many businesses offer ergonomic training to help prevent back injuries and reduce the risks associated with them.

Contact with objects or equipment (struck-by) – Objects striking workers accounted for about one-third of all non-fatal workplace injuries in 2016, according to BLS data reported by The Wall Street Journal This type of injury occurs when a worker is struck by something moving at high speed, such as a heavy object falling from above or an object thrown across the room during manufacturing processes. Workers may also be struck by falling objects if their eyes are not protected by goggles or other devices designed for this purpose.

The number of days injuries cause workers to miss

The average number of days injuries cause workers to miss is 2.6 days, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That’s down from an average of 3.5 days in 1990.

Injuries are a leading cause of lost work time in the United States, accounting for more than $80 billion in lost productivity annually. Injuries are also costly for employers in terms of medical expenses, lost wages, and replacement costs for temporary employees.

Workers compensation insurance helps pay for medical care and lost wages when employees are injured on the job.

Final thoughts

Considering their massive impact on the economy and their prevalence in nearly every workplace, there’s still room for improvement, especially in dangerous occupations. The trends might be moving in a positive direction, but employers can still do more to better protect their employees.

There are many workplace hazards to be aware of, but workplace injuries occur less frequently. Safety rules and regulations are in place to minimize the risks of injury, but they are not always completely effective. It helps to follow the rules and work safely.

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