WORKERS’ MEMORIAL DAY 2021 Fatal Occupational Injuries 2019

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Congress passed the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSH Act) 50 years ago, promising every worker the right to a safe job. Unions, worker advocates, and other allies have fought hard to make that promise a reality—winning protections that have made jobs safer and saved lives. We still, however, have work to do. Each year, thousands of workers are killed, and millions more suffer injury or illness because of inadequate employer protections and needless exposure to workplace hazards, some of which go unreported. 

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) tracks reported worker injuries and illnesses and details the findings in a summary report every year called the Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses (SOII) and the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI). The most recently published data findings from the BLS reports are detailed below.[1]

There were 5,333 fatal work injuries recorded in the United States in 2019, a 2 percent increase from the 5,250 in 2018. 

The fatal work injury rate was 3.5 fatalities per 100,000 full-time equivalents 

(FTE) workers, which was the rate reported in 2018. 

Key findings:

Worker demographics:

Fatal event or exposure:


[1] Due to the collection and analysis required, the BLS statistics on injuries and illnesses for a given year are always released two years later.