Working has inherent dangers, and some industries are much more dangerous than others. Before entering a specific industry, it is important to know the risks.
Therefore, these are some workplace injury statistics to consider.
Injury and fatality statistics
In 2021, private industry experienced 2,607,900 injuries and 5,190 work-related fatalities. This means that 3.6 of every 100,000 workers become injured at work, an increase of 8.9% from 2020. However, the injury rate is lower than the 2020 rate by 1.8%. In addition, 718 people died via suicide or homicide in 2021.
Types of incidents
Most injuries (84%) are the result of slips, falls and trips as well as overexertion and equipment accidents, and of these 18% resulted in the workers taking days off work for trips and falls and 196,140 workers missed work after equipment and object incidents. However, incidents involving transportation comprise a high percentage of incidents (40% in 2019). Chemical exposures also cause tens of thousands of injuries every year.
The construction sector had the most deaths at 958 and 946 per 100,000 workers in 2020 and 2021, respectively. However, the transportation and warehousing industry was a close second with 749 and 900 deaths per 100,000 workers in 2020 and 2021, respectively. Agriculture, forestry and fishing experienced the third highest number of deaths. In 2020, professionals had the fourth-highest number of deaths, but in 2021, this sector fell below manufacturing and government.
The highest number of injuries in 2021 where medical care was sought was in the education and health services (890,000) , followed by government (880,000), retail trade (510,000), manufacturing (490,000) and transportation and warehousing (310,000).
The good news is that the number of workplace incidents that result in injuries has declined by 75% since 1972, and these deaths tend to decrease every year.