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Total of 5,190 fatal work injuries in 2021, up 8.9 percent from 2020

December 20, 2022

There were 5,190 fatal work injuries in the United States in 2021, meaning a worker died every 101 minutes from an occupational injury over the course of the year. The number of fatal work injuries increased 8.9 percent from 4,764 in 2020, but decreased 2.7 percent from 5,333 in 2019 before the COVID-19 pandemic.

Number of fatal work injuries, 2011 to 2021
Year Fatal injuries

2011

4,693

2012

4,628

2013

4,585

2014

4,821

2015

4,836

2016

5,190

2017

5,147

2018

5,250

2019

5,333

2020

4,764

2021

5,190

The fatal injury rate was 3.6 deaths per 100,000 full-time workers in 2021, up from 3.4 per 100,000 full-time workers in 2020. The pre-pandemic rate in 2019 was 3.5 deaths per 100,000 full-time workers. The 2021 rate was the highest annual rate since 2016.

Rate of fatal work injuries per 100,000 full-time workers, 2011 to 2021
Year Fatal injury rate

2011

3.5

2012

3.4

2013

3.3

2014

3.4

2015

3.4

2016

3.6

2017

3.5

2018

3.5

2019

3.5

2020

3.4

2021

3.6

These data are from the Injuries, Illnesses, and Fatalities program. To learn more about fatal work injuries, see “National Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries in 2021.” We also have more charts on fatal work injuries.

SUGGESTED CITATION

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Total of 5,190 fatal work injuries in 2021, up 8.9 percent from 2020 at https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2022/total-of-5190-fatal-work-injuries-in-2021-up-8-9-percent-from-2020.htm (visited January 30, 2023).

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