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News Brief: Workplace Fatalities Up 5.7% According to Bureau of Labor Statistics

Workplace Fatalities Up 5.7% According to Bureau of Labor Statistics

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) recently released its 2022 national census of fatal occupational injuries. The census, which represents the most recent figures, discusses key findings related to fatal occupational injuries that occurred in 2022. As a whole, fatal injuries are up 5.7% from 2021, which saw 5,190 fatal injuries. There were 5,486 total fatal work injuries in 2022.

This article provides a breakdown of the key details from the BLS census.

There were 5,486 fatal work injuries recorded in the United States in 2022.

Key Findings

The census found that a worker died every 96 minutes from a work-related injury in 2022 compared to 101 minutes in 2021.

Transportation-related incidents remained the most frequent type of fatal event, with 2,066 fatal injuries accounting for 37.7% of all work-related fatalities.

Worker Characteristics In 2021, women represented 15.3% of workplace intentional injuries by a person. Yet, this demographic made up just 8.1% of overall occupational fatalities during the same period.

In addition, 1,175 occupational fatalities occurred among workers between the ages of 55 and 64, accounting for 21.4% of total fatalities for the year. 

Fatal Events and Exposures

Despite experiencing an increase from 2021 to 2022, fatal transportation incidents are still down 2.6% from 2019. Workplace fatalities due to violence and other injuries by people or animals increased from 761 fatalities in 2021 to 849 in 2022, representing an 11.6% increase. The largest contributor to this category, homicides, increased by 8.9% to 524 incidents during 2022.

Suicides increased 13.1% to 267 fatalities in 2022. This followed consecutive decreases in both 2020 and 2021.

Unintentional overdoses increased 13.1% to a high of 525 fatalities in 2022, compared to 464 in 2021. This continues the annual increase trend since 2012.

Exposure to harmful substances or environments increased by 5.1% in 2022 and led to 839 worker fatalities. This increase was largely due to the increase in unintentional overdoses, which accounted for over 60% of fatalities in this category.

Fatalities due to exposure to temperature extremes increased by 18.6% in 2022, rising to 51 from 43 in 2021.

In addition, work-related fatalities resulting from slips, trips and falls increased from 850 fatalities in 2021 to 865 in 2022, a 1.8% increase.


Transportation and material moving occupations had the most fatalities in 2002. There were 1,620 fatalities, which was up from 1,523 in 2021. The increase was due to fatalities of driver/sales workers and truck drivers increasing by 8.0%, from 1,032 fatalities in 2021 to 1,115 in 2022.

This article is intended for informational purposes only and is not intended to be exhaustive, nor should any discussion or opinions be construed as professional advice. © 2023 Zywave, Inc. All rights reserved.


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