The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and other public and private entities compile data and research to publish statistics on injuries and illnesses taking place in the workplace each year. This information helps California employers and insurers learn about safety concerns and issues that need addressing to protect employees better.
Most of the following statistics were published by the BLS in new releases and annual reports and by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
General workplace injury statistics
1. Injuries and illnesses suffered by employees cost employers $163.9 billion.
2. In 2020 (the most recent data available), employees suffered 2.7 million injuries in the workplace.
3. Illnesses in the workplace were up 400% in 2020.
4. Employee illnesses and injuries severe enough to miss work went up by 32.4% in 2020.
5. Employees missed 12 days of work on average due to their illnesses or injuries.
On a positive note, the BLS data revealed some good news regarding workplace accidents.
6. Overall, the rate of work incidences has dropped 75% from 1975 to 2020.
7. Workplace fatalities decreased in 2020 by 10.7%.
Injury and illness statistics vary by industry sector
8. Two industries, transportation and construction, contributed almost 50% of all work-related fatalities.
9. The only sectors that saw increases in total illness injury cases were healthcare and social assistance.
10. In 2020, healthcare workers had the highest number of missed workdays.
11. The retail sector saw a decrease in nonfatal illnesses and injuries of 13.8% for 2020.
Wrapping up with a few more statistics
12. Of all states in the U.S., Wyoming had the highest percentage fatality rate in the workplace.
13. The state of Texas had the highest number of worker fatalities.
14. California experienced the second highest rate, after Texas, of worker fatalities.
15. Workplace illnesses and injuries happen more frequently in small businesses.
16. In 2020, the most frequent nonfatal workplace incident was falling.
17. The second most common nonfatal incidents were overexertion and bodily reactions.
Workplace injuries take a significant toll on employees and their families. Statistical data assists employers in creating safer work conditions, and increased awareness helps employees be on the lookout for unsafe conditions at work, so they can avoid becoming another statistic.