The Bureau of Labor Statistics has released its annual Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries. This edition of the census counts 2022 deaths, the most recent national data available.

“In 2022, 5,486 workers in the U.S. lost their lives,” says Doug Parker, the U.S. Department of Labor’s assistant secretary for occupational safety and health. “This equates to one worker death every 96 minutes, with deaths the highest among transportation and construction workers."

Transportation and materials moving fields led the list, with 1,620 fatalities. In 2022, 14 to 15 people suffered fatal injuries for every 100,000 workers in this category. Workers in construction and extraction occupations had the second most fatalities, with 1,056. In 2022, 13 people suffered fatal injuries per 100,000 workers in this category. For construction and extraction professionals, slips, trips or falls led to 40% (423) of these fatalities.

“We also saw growth in disparities for workers of color, including Black workers, whose fatality rate increased 12.4 percent, and Hispanic workers, whose rate grew by 10.4 percent,” Parker adds.

The total number of workers killed in construction and extraction occupations climbed year-over-year, but the Covid-19 Pandemic may have led to lower fatalities in these categories in 2020 and 2021. The numbers for 2022 show a return to pre-pandemic fatality levels on the job. See the annual numbers below.

Construction and Extraction Occupations

  • 2018, 1,003
  • 2019, 1,066
  • 2020, 976
  • 2021, 951
  • 2022, 1,056

“Every worker death has profound impacts on family, friends, co-workers and communities,” Parker says. “That is why investing in worker safety and health must be a core value in every workplace across the country. All workers have a right to do their job without fear of being injured or sickened."