Most Dangerous Industries

When exploring work-related injury and fatality trends, the question “What is the most dangerous industry?” often comes up. Because work-related “danger” is defined in several different ways, there is no one answer to this seemingly simple question.

In 2019, depending on the measure used, each of these four industries could be ranked as most dangerous:

  • Construction – experienced the most workplace deaths
  • Government – experienced the most nonfatal injuries and illnesses involving days away from work
  • Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting – experienced the highest death rate per 100,000 workers
  • Transportation and Warehousing – experienced the highest injury and illness rate involving days away from work per 10,000 workers

Please note: The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) did not report fatality data at the private industry level for several major industry sectors in 2019 (Professional and business services, Information, and Manufacturing). BLS indicates these industries did not meet publishable standards for 2019. BLS suppresses industry estimates if they don’t meet certain criteria for both reliability and confidentiality. In 2019, BLS updated the standards for confidentiality due to concerns about secondary disclosure that may have affected publishing particular estimates, though BLS is not able to confirm any specific cause.

Use the interactive chart to explore each of these measures and how the rankings have changed over time:

  • Chart
  • Data Table
How to Use Injury Facts® Charts and Tables

Source: National Safety Council analysis of BLS data