In 1921, when the National Safety Council published its first statistical summary, An Analysis of Public Accidents, there was no centralized source for injury statistics for the United States. The committee of volunteers tasked with developing the publication collected public injury statistics from 36 representative cities, life insurance companies and other sources.
This first publication estimated 75,500 fatal “accidents” and a death rate of 71.9 per 100,000 population in 1919. A century later, in 2019, NSC reported 173,040 preventable injury deaths and a death rate of 52.7 per 100,000 population.
Over the years, the statistical injury summaries published by NSC added information on a variety of topics. The 1927 edition was the first to include limited industrial data, while the 1930 edition was the first to include an industrial section. It was not until 62 years later, in 1992, that a comprehensive national count of workplace fatalities became available from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
As the scope of the publication expanded, its various titles reflected the changing content. Known as Accident Facts® from 1927 through 1998, the title changed to Injury Facts® in 1999 as part of the Council’s effort to communicate that unintentional injuries are preventable.
Most recently, in 2018, Injury Facts® transitioned to an online publication and ceased printing of the annual book. Statistical data now is updated on a continual basis, and the number of topics covered are no longer limited to the number of pages in the book. The National Safety Council and the Injury Facts® team look forward to many more years providing a comprehensive and reliable account of preventable injuries and death for the United States and the world.