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Accident Statistics

By: Tabitha Mishra
| Last updated: January 4, 2019

What Does Accident Statistics Mean?

Accident statistics are numerical data collected from workplaces in order to research, analyze, or simply quantify various aspects of occupational safety. This information is gathered primarily to assess the effectiveness of workplace health and safety policies.

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) publishes annual reports of the number of injuries, illnesses and fatalities that take place in American workplaces and on jobsites.

Safeopedia Explains Accident Statistics

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, some 2.2 million injuries were reported in the US private sector in 2021, an increase from the 2.1 million reported in 2020. Although it must be noted that 2020 was the first year of the Covid-19 pandemic, which resulted in fewer people at work, fewer work hours, and consequently fewer people at risk of an occupational accident.

Here are a few more general workplace injury statistics:

  • For every 100,000 full-time workers, there are 3.4 fatalities per year
  • About 14 workers are injured on average every second
  • Private-sector employees experienced non-fatal job-related injuries and illnesses at 2.7 per 100 full-time employees
  • There were 266,530 occupational sprains, strains, and tears in 2020
  • Only 3% of workplace injuries were caused by explosions and fires
  • Slips, trips, and falls account for 26% of all non-fatal injuries in the workplace
  • An average of 14 workers die on the job each day

Global Workplace Accident Statistics

According to estimates by the International Labor Organization (ILO), about 2.3 million people every year (over 6000 every day) die from work-related accidents or diseases around the world. Moreover, there are around 340 million occupational accidents and 160 million people suffering from work-related illnesses annually.

Some more statistics from the ILO on work-related accidents and diseases:

  • An estimated 651,279 deaths are caused every year by hazardous substances alone
  • The construction industry has a very high rate of recorded accidents
  • In Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) countries, the estimated number of fatal occupational accidents cases is over 11,000
  • Younger and older workers are particularly vulnerable

Causes of Accidents at the Workplace

The 10 most frequently cited standards by Federal OSHA in 2021 were:

  1. Fall protection
  2. Respiratory protection
  3. Ladders (construction)
  4. Hazard communication
  5. Scaffolding
  6. Fall protection training
  7. Control of hazardous energy (lockout/tagout)
  8. Eye and face protection
  9. Powered industrial trucks
  10. Machinery and machine guarding

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