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 below 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 2021 data, we see increases in the number of deaths and death rates across most industries. Some of the industries experiencing the largest increases include:

  • Other services (deaths: +31%; death rate: +20%)
  • Retail trade (deaths: +18%; death rate: +20%)
  • Manufacturing (deaths: +16%; death rate: +10%)

However, a few industries actually experienced decreases even as the overall number of preventable deaths was up 9% and the death rate was up by 3% in 2020. The industries experiencing improvements include:

  • Leisure and hospitality (deaths: -2%; death rate: -17%)
  • Construction (deaths: -1%; death rate: -8%)

Please note: BLS did not report fatality data at the private industry level for several major industry sectors starting 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 through 2021. 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