Fatal Occupational Injuries in the US

Fatal Occupational Injuries are defined as those types of injuries that cause deaths to the affected employee within one year of the occurrence of the injury. Fatal Occupational Injuries are a source of concern at any workplace, as some kinds of professions and workplaces are more likely to cause Fatal Occupational Injuries, while other are less prone to.


The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) has a division, the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI), which publishes comprehensive information annually on Fatal Occupational Injuries in the US. This is a very wide-ranging database that takes into account all factors relating to Fatal Occupational Injuries. It also lists the kinds of workplaces and industry in which there is the highest incidence of such injuries.


As of now, the latest available data are for 2014. Some of the highlights of Fatal Occupational Injuries published for this year include:


  • There were 4679 reported cases of Fatal Occupational Injuries throughout the year in 2014
  • This is a two percent increase in the previous year���s number
  • However, there was no increase in the rate of Fatal Occupational Injuries in the US workplace, which remained at 3.3 incidents per 100,000 fulltime or equivalent employees over the previous year
  • Fatal Occupational Injuries for government workers fell by 12 percent.

By industry

The industry that recorded the highest percentage increase in Fatal Occupational Injuries were mining (17 percent increase over 2013), agriculture (14 percent increase over 2013), manufacturing (9 percent increase over 2013), and construction (6 percent increase over 2013).

By type of injury

The leading causes of Fatal Occupational Injuries were falls, slips, and trips in that order. Put together, these three causes increased by about a tenth, to 793 in 2014 from 724 in the previous year.

By age

Fatal Occupational Injuries on workers aged 55 years and above went up from 1,490 in 2013 to 1,621 in 2014, registering a 9 percent increase. Incidentally, this number is the highest ever recorded by the CFOI for any year from the time it started reporting.

By employment type

There was a ten percent increase in Fatal Occupational Injuries among self-employed workers, reaching 1,047 in 2014, 97 more than in the previous year.

In 2014, 797 contracted workers sustained Fatal Occupational Injuries, six percent higher than the previous year's 749. Of Fatal Occupational Injuries sustained to all employees, a sixth of them were contracted employees at the time of sustaining a Fatal Occupational Injury.

By gender

In 2014, women registered a 13 percent increase in Fatal Occupational Injuries, but despite this increase, only 8 percent of all Fatal Occupational Injuries in 2014 happened to women.

By ethnic group

Notable minorities had a mixed bag of Fatal Occupational Injuries statistics: while Fatal Occupational Injuries decreased for Hispanic or Latino workers; those for non-Hispanic white, black or African-American, and Asian workers increased.


By type of industry

In the number of Fatal Occupational Injuries in private goods-producing industries; there was a 9 percent increase in 2014, but a small decrease compared to private service-providing industries.