September 22, 2003
A total of 5,524 fatal work injuries were recorded in 2002, a decline of 6.6 percent from 2001.
The count for 2002 was the lowest recorded by the fatality census, which has been conducted yearly since 1992. In 2001, 5,915 fatal work injuries occurred, excluding the 2,886 work-related fatalities that resulted from the September 11 terrorist attacks, which were tabulated separately.
Fatal work injuries were down in almost every demographic category in 2002—men and women, wage and salary and self-employed workers, and virtually all age groups.
Fatal highway incidents were down 3 percent from 2001, but continued to be the most frequent type of fatal workplace event. Construction continued to record the highest number of fatal injuries of any major industry.
The Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries, part of the BLS Injuries, Illnesses, and Fatalities program, provides the most complete count of fatal work injuries available. Additional information is available from "National Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries in 2002" (PDF) (TXT), news release USDL 03-488.