August 24, 2009
A total of 5,071 fatal work injuries were recorded in the United States in 2008, down from a total of 5,657 fatal work injuries reported for 2007. While the 2008 results are preliminary, this figure represents the smallest annual preliminary total since the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries program was first conducted in 1992.
Key findings of the 2008 Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries:
Economic factors likely played a role in the fatality decrease. Average hours worked at the national level fell by one percent in 2008, and some industries that have historically accounted for a significant share of worker fatalities, such as construction, experienced larger declines in employment or hours worked.
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. For more information on fatal work injuries, see "National Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries in 2008" (HTML) (PDF), news release USDL 09-0979. Data for the most recent year are preliminary; final results for 2008 will be released in April 2010. The total for 2001 excludes work-related fatalities that resulted from the September 11 terrorist attacks, which were tabulated separately.