Workplace Deaths in 2015 Reached Six-Year High

Credit...David Kidwell/Associated Press

More workers died from on-the-clock injuries in 2015 than in any of the six previous years, though the rate of such deaths has been falling, according to data released last week by the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The census of workplace fatalities, first conducted in 1992, provides a detailed view of workplace safety in America and shows the demographic groups and professions most at risk of fatal workplace injury.

Here’s a look at some of the key figures from the new report.


That’s the total number of fatal workplace injuries in 2015, the highest since 2008, when such injuries resulted in 5,214 deaths.

High as the total may seem, the rate of workplace deaths — as a share of every 100,000 full-time equivalent workers — fell slightly from 2014 and has fallen relatively steadily since 2006.

93 percent

Men accounted for all but 7 percent of the total workplace deaths last year.


That’s the number of transportation-related episodes that resulted in fatalities, accounting for about 42 percent of all workplace deaths.

As a result, 745 drivers of heavy and tractor-trailer trucks died because of injuries at work last year, more than any other major civilian occupation.

Falls, slips and trips made up the next most common major cause of workplace fatalities, resulting in 800 deaths last year.


That’s the number of Hispanic or Latino workers who died in 2015, approximately two-thirds of them foreign-born. More Hispanics or Latinos died from workplace injuries in 2015 than in any year since 2007, when the number for the group was 937.


Workers 65 years and older died at higher rates last year than their peers in any other age group. With 650 deaths for those senior workers, 2015 was the second-worst year for the age group since the data was first collected in 1992. Only last year’s total, 684, was larger.

18 percent

That’s the decline in the number of workplace suicides from 2014. The homicide rate rose 2 percent. Over the last five years, both declined.