Occupational Profile

Detailed nonfatal data for 2021 are not currently available.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) is transitioning from an annual to a biennial (every two years) publication schedule.  The final publication of a single year of cases involving days away from work estimates is for reference year 2020. In the fall of 2023, BLS will publish detailed data covering 2021 and 2022 for both Days Away from Work (DAFW) and for Days of Job Transfer or Restriction (DJTR) cases.

Occupational profiles provide data on the characteristics of injured and ill workers and the injuries and illnesses that affected them by occupational category. These data, which may be used to help set priorities for occupational safety and health programs and for benchmarking, indicate how many workers died from on-the-job injuries and how many were affected by nonfatal injuries and illnesses.

The fatality information only covers deaths due to injuries and comes from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI). The data are for calendar years 2011-2021 and include wage and salary workers, the self-employed, and unpaid family workers in all types of businesses and industries.

The nonfatal data cover occupational injuries and illnesses in the private sector and come from the BLS Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses for 2011-2020. The estimates are the number of cases involving days away from work (with or without days of restricted work activity). For most occupations, nonfatal cases data do not cover the self-employed or unpaid family workers. Nonfatal estimates also exclude federal, state, and local government employees.

The COVID-19 pandemic dramatically impacted the number and rate of nonfatal injuries and illnesses in 2020. There were 1,176,340 nonfatal injuries and illnesses that caused a private industry worker to miss at least one day of work in 2020, which was 32.4% higher than in 2019. Of these cases, 33.2% (390,020 cases) were categorized as “other diseases due to viruses not elsewhere classified (nec),” which includes reported COVID-19-pandemic related illnesses. No cases in this category have been reported since 2016, so it may be assumed that all or nearly all of the 390,020 cases in 2020 involved COVID-19.

Fatality data show that worker deaths increased 8.9% in 2021, now totaling 5,190. Select occupations showing larger than average increases include:

  • Protective service (+32%)
  • Food preparation and serving (+23%)
  • Installation, maintenance, and repair (+21%)
  • Transportation and material moving (+19%)
  • Building and grounds cleaning and maintenance (+16%)

Unfortunately, no data are available regarding work-related or occupational fatalities related to COVID-19. BLS excludes fatal occupational illness cases from its surveillance programs because of the difficulty of quantifying illness cases that often involve extended latency periods between the occupational exposure and onset of illness. To learn more about workplace COVID-19 illness trends visit the COVID-19 page.

Data are presented for the sex, age, and industry of the worker, and for the nature of the injury or illness, the source of the injury or illness, and the event or exposure that produced the injury or illness. For a more accurate comparison of injury and illness frequency, adjust the category “level of detail” filter to compare categories of similar scope. To view data regarding nonfatal injuries and illnesses, adjust the year filter to 2020 or earlier (please see note above regarding 2021 nonfatal data).

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

Source: BLS, U.S. Department of Labor. Nonfatal data for the nature code “Other diseases due to viruses, not elsewhere classified (nec)” (COVID-19) were provided by BLS through special request and have not been otherwise published by BLS.