18 Shocking Workplace Injury Statistics to Know in 2024

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Deyan Georgiev
Written by
Deyan Georgiev

Updated · Jan 02, 2024

Deyan Georgiev
Website Manager | Joined October 2021 | LinkedIn
Deyan Georgiev

Deyan is an avid enthusiast and self-proclaimed fan of the Windows operating system. His passion for... | See full bio

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Do you think of your job as dangerous? If you are involved in higher-risk activities like law enforcement, emergency services, or agriculture, you may. However, work related injury statistics show that accidents can happen in any work environment, from offices to construction sites. Indeed, falls in the workplace statistics show that millions of workers are injured every year due to slips, trips, and missteps that can happen, just as easily in a retail or admin environment, as on a building site. 

Of course, accidents at work are bad news for everyone involved. After all, injuries in the work environment do not only result in medical and insurance expenses but also lost productivity and wages. Not to mention the less obvious costs such as poor morale and engagement they can cause. 

The first step to rectifying the situation is a comprehensive understanding of workplace injury statistics. As such, let’s dive into some of the more fascinating stats.

Shocking Workplace Injury Statistics

There are many concerning occupational injury and fatality statistics, such as. 

  • There were over 2.2 million injuries in the US private sector last year.
  • There were 5,190 fatal work injuries in the US in 2021.
  • Per 100,000 full-time workers, there are 3.6 fatalities annually.    
  • The number of workers that require ER visits is 2.4 million.
  • Slips, trips, and falls account for 26% of nonfatal injuries in the workplace. 
  • Since OSHA’s establishment, employee fatalities have decreased by 66%.  
  • On average, 14 workers die every day on the job in the US. 
  • Every second, an average of 14 American workers sustain injuries.
  • Fires and explosions cause 3% of workplace injuries.
  • People aged 55+ have a higher risk of fatal work injuries.

How Many Workplace Injuries Occur Each Year?

More than 2.2 million injuries were reported in the U.S. private sector in 2021, up from 2.1 million injuries in 2020.


From 2017 to 2019, nearly 2.7 million injuries were reported annually.

Year Injury Cases, in millions
2017 2.69
2018 2.71
2019 2.69
2020 2.11
2021 2.24

General Workplace Injury Stats

In 2020 fewer workplace injuries were recorded compared to the previous year. This suggests that workers are giving more thought to their safety and that conditions are better. However, it is worth noting that the pandemic-induced reduction in working hours certainly impacted this statistic, and perhaps conditions may not have improved as much as preferred. 

1. There are 3.5 fatalities per 100,000 full-time workers annually.

(US Bureau of Labor Statistics)  

Work related injury stats show that for every 100,000 US workers, we can expect 3.5 to pass away due to injuries sustained at work every year. Of course, with so many millions of American workers, this, unfortunately, adds up to many people lost.

2. Every second, there are 14 workers injured on average in the United States.


In addition to the risk of death, US workers risk injury at a rate of 14 individuals per second! Many of these injuries have lasting impacts that prevent people from working over the short and long term. In addition to disrupting workflow, such work stoppages limit support to families.  

(US Bureau of Labor Statistics) 

Of these team members, 1.7 out of 100 took days off due to a job accident or illness. 

4. In 2020, workplace injury statistics showed 266,530 sprains, strains, and tears.

(US Bureau of Labor Statistics)  

Sprains, strains, and tears accounted for the most common work injuries within the private sector. Back injuries are particularly prevalent. 

5. Explosions or fires cause only 3% of workplace injuries.

(Thomas Marchese)

It's easy to catastrophize work incidents that lead to occupational injuries. But in reality, explosions and fires only make up 3% of the total cases. Sadly, despite such a small percentage, they often cause the most severe outcomes with relatively high casualty rates. 

Occupational Injury Stats

The good news is that not all injuries in the work environment are fatal.

6. Occupational injury statistics show that slips, trips, and falls account for 26% of all nonfatal injuries in the workplace.


Inadequate lighting, uneven flooring, cables, and liquid spills often cause slips, trips and falls. Ironically, such causes are also among the most easily preventable. 


That is a great deal of professional medical services at a considerable cost. 

8. In 2020 2.8 out of every 100 full-time workers are injured at work. 

(US Bureau of Labor Statistics News Report)

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics shows this figure remaining the same since 2018. 

9. In 2019 incidents of workplace accident death grew by 2%.

(US Bureau of Labor Statistics)

Since 2010 workplace fatalities have continued to rise. In 2019, there were 5,333 deaths recorded, an increase of 2% from 2018. 

10. In 2019, exposure to harmful substances or environments was responsible for almost 37,000 injuries in the workplace. 

(Injury Facts)

This makes exposure to harmful substances or environments the sixth most common cause of US employee injuries in 2019. 

Workplace Death Statistics

Workplace death statistics show a reduction in fatal workplace accidents since 2019. However, fatalities still occur with regularity, despite better regulations and protocols.

11. There were 5,190 fatal workplace injuries in the US in 2021, up from 4,764 in 2020.


The number of on-the-job deaths reached 5,333 in 2019 and 5,250 in 2018.

12. 35.5% of fatal workplace injuries occur in people aged 55+.


Only 5.6% of work injury deaths occur in people aged 20-24.

13. An average of 14 workers per day die on the job in the US. 


That's 14 fewer Americans, all because they went to work this morning! 

14. Workplace accident stats show that every 111 minutes, a US worker died in 2020. 

(US Bureau of Labor Statistics) 

This is far too many, yet, it shows a vast improvement from 1970 when the Occupational Safety and Health Act became law. 

15. In 2020 deaths associated with transportation were the leading cause of workplace deaths. 

(US Bureau of Labor Statistics)

Road transportation caused 1,778 deaths in 2020. Falls from height were also a significant cause of fatalities. 

Workplace Safety Stats

The impact that an injury at work has on workers can be significant. The effects are measurable using the following statistics. 

16. Since the establishment of OSHA, workplace incidents resulting in fatalities have dropped 66%. 


OSHA’s work to ensure worker safety continues with a significant impact. 

(National Safety Council)

These expenses include employers’ uninsured costs at $13.3 billion. The second is the wage and productivity losses at $53.9 billion. The third is the unsurprising medical expenses of $35.5 billion, and finally, the total administrative fees are a massive $59.7 billion. 

18. Workplace safety statistics show that each worker must produce $1,100 of goods to offset the costs associated with the accident.

(National Safety Council)

In 2020 fatal occupational injuries cost $1.31 million, while injuries that required medical consultation cost $44,000. These figures include employer expenses, damage to vehicles or property, cost of medical treatments, and wage losses. 

19. In 2019 fatalities and injuries caused 70 million workdays to be lost.

(National Safety Council)

This figure only includes figures from 2019. Add injuries from 2018, and it climbs to 105,000,000 lost workdays. 

Wrap Up

Occupational injury statistics show that injuries and fatalities continue to fall over time. This is largely due to the work of OSHA. However, occupational injuries and deaths continue to pose a significant threat to workers and their wellbeing. 


How many work-related injuries occur each year?

In 2020, 3.2 million nonfatal occupational injuries and illnesses occurred in the US. 

Which part of the body is most frequently injured in the workplace?

As a result of work accidents, the back is the most frequently injured part of the body.

Which occupation has the most fatal injuries?

Two sectors register the highest on the worker injury and fatality scale. The leading one includes fishing, hunting, and forestry. The second employment sector includes emergency service workers and the police. 

Which age group is twice as likely to become injured at work?

Work related injury statistics show that younger people are more likely to be injured at work. Specifically, workers in the 20-24 age range have the highest occupational injury rate. 


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