By the Numbers

Work Fatalities in 2011

Date First Published on SafetySmart Compliance: September 25th, 2012
Topics: Illness Injury Prevention Program |

The Bureau of Labor Statistics published preliminary data on 2011 workplace fatalities. Highlights:


Workers who died from work injuries in 2011 (as compared to 4,690 in 2010); that’s an average of 13 work fatalities per day. The good news is that annual fatalities have steadily declined since 1994:

 4609 worker fatalities in 2011


Fatal work injuries per 100,000 full-time equivalents (vs. 3.6 in 2010). Again, the long term trend in fatality rates has been steady decline. 




Percentage of work fatalities that occurred as a result of a traffic incident, the leading cause (followed by contact with objects and equipment at 15%, and falls, slips and trips at 14%. The pie chart summarizes all major causes:  





How many states had more work fatalities in 2011 than 2010. Fatalities declined in 25 states and stayed the same in 2:





  • Transportation incidents accounted for nearly 3 of 5 workers killed in multiple fatality events
  • Homicides accounted for second highest number of workers killed in multiple fatality incidents
  • 92% of workers killed were male—but broken down by hours worked, the ratio of male to female victims was 57 to 43. In other words, a disproportionate share of fatalities were suffered by men
  • Fatalities to Hispanic or Latino workers increased in 2011 (from 707 to 729) after declining the previous 4 years in a row
  • The rate of fatalities for workers 45 or older was higher than the overall U.S. rate
  • Fatality rate for workers 65 and older was more than 3 times the rate for all workers
Last but not least, here’s the breakdown of fatalities by industry sector: