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Economic News Release
IIF IIF Program Links

Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries Summary, 2018

For release 10:00 a.m. (EST) Tuesday, December 17, 2019		             			           USDL-19-2194 
Technical information:	(202) 691-6170 • •
Media contact:		(202) 691-5902 •


There were 5,250 fatal work injuries recorded in the United States in 2018, a 2 percent increase from the 5,147 in 2017, 
the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. (See chart 1 and table 1.) The fatal work injury rate remained 
unchanged at 3.5 per 100,000 full-time equivalent (FTE) workers. (See chart 2.) These data are from the Census of Fatal 
Occupational Injuries (CFOI). 

(Charts 1 and 2 appear here in the printed release) 

Fatal event or exposure 

  - Transportation incidents remained the most frequent type of fatal event at 2,080, accounting for 40 percent of all 
    work-related fatalities. (See chart 3 and table 2.)
  - Incidents involving contact with objects and equipment increased 13 percent (from 695 to 786), driven by a 39 percent 
    increase in workers caught in running equipment or machinery and a 17 percent increase in workers struck by falling 
    objects or equipment.
  - Unintentional overdoses due to nonmedical use of drugs or alcohol while at work increased 12 percent from 272 to 305. 
    This is the sixth consecutive annual increase.
  - Violence and other injuries by persons or animals increased 3 percent in 2018, due to an 11 percent increase in 
    work-related suicides from 275 to 304. 
  - Fatal falls, slips, and trips decreased 11 percent to 791, after reaching a series high of 887 in 2017. This decline 
    was due to a 14 percent drop in falls to a lower level (713 to 615), the lowest total since 2013. 

(Chart 3 appears here in the printed release) 


  - Driver/sales workers and truck drivers had the most fatalities of any broad occupation group at 966. Among all detailed 
    occupations, heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers had the most fatalities at 831. 
  - In 2018, logging workers, fishers and related fishing workers, aircraft pilots and flight engineers, and roofers all 
    had fatality rates more than 10 times the all-worker rate of 3.5 fatalities per 100,000 FTE workers. (See chart 4.)
  - Police and sheriff’s patrol officers had 108 fatalities in 2018, up 14 percent from 2017. 
  - Fatal injuries to taxi drivers and chauffeurs declined by 24 percent to 47, the lowest total since 2003 when comparable 
    data for the occupation were first available. 

Fatal injury counts by occupation will be available shortly at Fatality rates 
by occupation will be available shortly at 

Independent workers 

In 2016, the CFOI began identifying fatal injuries to independent workers. Independent workers are involved in a work 
relationship that is finite and involves a single task, short-term contract, or freelance work. 

  - In 2018, there were 621 fatal injuries to independent workers, up from 613 in 2017. 
  - Independent workers comprised 12 percent of all fatal injuries in 2018. 
  - Occupations with the most fatal work injuries to independent workers in 2018 were heavy and tractor trailer-truck 
    drivers (96), followed by first-line supervisors of construction trades and extraction workers (61), and construction 
    laborers (48). 

Fatal occupational injury data for independent workers will be available shortly at 

(Chart 4 appears here in the printed release)

Worker demographics

  - Fatalities to non-Hispanic Black or African American workers increased 16 percent to 615 in 2018, the highest total since 
    1999. Their fatal injury rate also increased from 3.2 per 100,000 FTE workers in 2017 to 3.6 in 2018.
  - Hispanic or Latino workers experienced 961 fatalities in 2018, a 6 percent increase from 2017. Sixty-seven percent of 
    fatally-injured Hispanic or Latino workers were born outside of the United States. 
  - Though the number of fatalities declined for workers age 65 years and over in 2018, their fatal work-injury rate is still 
    more than double the all-worker rate. (See table 1.)
  - A total of 20 states and the District of Columbia had fewer fatal injuries in 2018 than 2017, while 28 states had more; 
    Arkansas and Oklahoma had the same number as 2017. (See table 5.) 

Fatal occupational injury data for foreign-born Hispanic or Latino workers will be available shortly at 

The PDF version of the news release

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Table of Contents

Last Modified Date: December 17, 2019