25 years worker injury case data
Photo: United States Department of Labor

BLS puts ‘spotlight’ on contemporary history of workplace injuries, fatalities

April 2, 2019

Washington — A recent analysis of Bureau of Labor Statistics data highlights findings from a quarter century (1992-2016) of labor market data.

Published in March, the report, 25 Years of Worker Injury, Illness, and Fatality Case Data, is part of the bureau’s “Spotlight on Statistics” series.


Among the findings featured:

  • Total fatal on-the-job injuries fell to 5,190 in 2016 from 6,217 in 1992, a 16.5% decrease.
  • Fatal on-the-job injuries among workers age 55 and older climbed to 1,848 in 2016 from 1,234 in 1992, a 48.9% increase.
  • Transportation incidents were the leading cause of fatal workplace injuries from 2011 to 2016, accounting for 11,846 deaths. Violent events (4,701 deaths) and slips, trips, and falls (4,576 deaths) were the next most common causes.
  • Overexertion and bodily reaction was the leading contributor to nonfatal injuries and illnesses requiring days away from work. However, such cases fell to 300,420 in 2016 from 1,032,385 in 1992, a decrease of 70.9%.

“The 25 years of data now available shows that workers are incurring fewer injuries and fatalities on the job, but also shows that there is still work to do to make workers safer while they are on the job,” the report states.