Work-related Fatality Trends

Preventable deaths and death rate trends vary by industry. Industry definitions changed in 2003, making it inappropriate to compare trends across 2003. The interactive chart on this page allows you to select industry sectors for comparison.

As you explore the data, you may notice that the number of fatalities in both the Construction and Transportation & Warehousing sections dropped dramatically in both 2008 and 2009. At the same time, the drops in fatality rates for these two industry sectors were not nearly as dramatic. These two industries were particularly hard-hit during the recession, so the decrease in fatalities was largely a reflection of decreases in hours worked. Now with the latest 2020 data, we see decreases in the number of deaths across nearly all industries. However, a few industries (leisure and hospitality, other services, and government) actually experienced fatality rate increases even though the overall rate trend was down by 3%. Fatality rates help compensate for changes in hours worked, making it easier to more accurately assess long-term trends without the influence of outside economic factors.

Please note: BLS did not report fatality data at the private industry level for several major industry sectors in 2019. 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. Also, BLS did not report the number of intentional injury deaths for several major industry sectors in 2019 and 2020. Because the number of intentional deaths is relatively small compared to preventable deaths, NSC used historic data to estimate the number of intentional deaths in order to estimate the number of preventable/unintentional deaths.

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

Note: In 2003, industry definitions changed from the Standard Industrial Classification Manual to the North American Industry Classification System.