Top Work-related Injury Causes

The leading causes of death and nonfatal injury are not always the same. While transportation incidents are the leading cause of death in 2020, resulting in 37% of all work-related deaths, they are the fifth leading cause of nonfatal injuries, accounting for only about 3% of injuries or illnesses involving days away from work. The leading cause of nonfatal work-related injuries or illnesses involving days away from work is exposure to harmful substances or environments, accounting for 36% of injuries or illnesses. Exposure to harmful substances or environments fatalities are far less common, accounting for 14% of deaths in 2020. The exposure to harmful substances or environments category includes contagious and infectious diseases such as COVID-19. To learn more about the impact of work-related COVID-19 illnesses please visit the COVID-19 workplace page. A comparison of the leading causes of death and nonfatal injuries or illnesses involving days away from work is provided here. Drill down to view subcategory data by clicking a category on the chart.

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

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics.