Occupational Injuries in 2020

Transportation incidents remained the most frequent type of fatal event

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that fatal injuries in the United States had fallen 10.7 percent from 2019 to 2020. In 2019 there were 5,333 fatal work injuries, which dropped to 4,764 fatal injuries in 2020.

Key findings from the 2020 Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries

  • The 4,764 fatal occupational injuries in 2020 represents the lowest annual number since 2013.
  • A worker died every 111 minutes from a work-related injury in 2020.
  • Transportation incidents remained the most frequent type of fatal event with 1,778 fatal injuries, accounting for 37.3 percent of all work-related fatalities.
  • The share of Hispanic or Latino workers fatally injured on the job continued to grow, increasing to 22.5 percent from 20.4 percent in 2019.
  • Suicides decreased 15.6 percent from 307 in 2019 to 259 in 2020, representing the lowest count for occupational suicides since 2015.

Fatal event or exposure

  • Fatal transportation incidents fell 16.2 percent to 1,778 in 2020 from 2,122 in 2019.
  • Fatalities due to violence and other injuries by persons or animals decreased from 841 fatalities in 2019 to 705 fatalities in 2020 (-16.2 percent). The largest subcategory, intentional injuries by person, decreased 14.5 percent to 651 in 2020.
  • Exposure to harmful substances or environments led to 672 worker fatalities in 2020, the highest figure since the series began in 2011. Within this category, unintentional overdose from nonmedical use of drugs accounted for 57.7 percent of fatalities (388 deaths), up from 48.8 percent in 2019.