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The Workplace Was Safer in 2020

The Workplace was Safer in 2020

Dec. 21, 2021
Workplace fatalities for 2020 decreased by 10.7% in 2020 compared to 2019, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

On Dec. 16 the Bureau of Labor Statistics released an annual report on workplace fatalities for 2020 and it showed that workplace fatalities for 2020 decreased by 10.7% in 2020 compared to 2019.

The total of 4,764 workplace injuries represented the lowest annual number of workplace injury deaths since 2013. 

While the report does not include COVID-19 illness deaths, the decrease in hours worked, resulting from the economic disruption triggered by the pandemic, likely played a substantial role in the decline.\

Looking at the fatality rate, it also dropped from 3.5 to 3.4 per 100,000 full-time equivalent workers. This means that in 2020 a worker died every  111 minutes from a work-related injury. 

Some of the key takeaways from the report, as shared from the National Safety Council  are:

  •  Hours worked decreased 9% in 2020, from 296.6 billion hours to 269.9 billion 
  • Transportation incidents remained the most frequent type of fatal event with 1,778 fatal injuries, accounting for 37.3% of all work-related fatalities
  • Although the overall fatality rate decreased, the fatality rate among Hispanic or Latino workers increased, from 4.2 to 4.5 deaths per 100,000 workers
  • Unintentional overdose from nonmedical use of drugs increased 24% and accounted for 388 deaths, compared to 313 in 2019
  • Suicides decreased 15.6%, from 307 in 2019 to 259 in 2020, representing the lowest count for occupational suicides since 2015

The National Safety Council  offers resources to help companies provide safer workplaces:

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