Office Accident Statistics

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 Office Accident Statistics

A workplace accident can cause minor injuries to very serious, debilitating ones. Any work-related injury that causes the employee to miss work beyond the date of injury is considered a nonfatal injury. It is also possible to sustain fatal injuries. On-the-job injuries and office accidents are outlined below.

Many different industries have office jobs, which can vary widely. Below are statistics compiled from all industries by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

In 2020, 4,764 fatal work injuries were recorded in the United States, a 10.7-percent decrease from 5,333 in 2019, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported.

In 2019, there were 3.5 fatal work injuries per 100,000 full-time equivalents (FTE) workers, down from 3.4 in 2018.

In 2020, there were 4,764 fatal occupational injuries, the lowest number since 2013.

A worker died every 111 minutes from a work-related injury in 2020.

1,778 fatal injuries occurred in transportation incidents, accounting for 37.3 percent of all work-related deaths.

Among workers fatally injured on the job in 2019, 22.5 percent (1,072) of the fatalities were Hispanic or Latino, up from 20.4 percent (1,088 fatalities) in 2018.

Occupational suicides decreased 15.6 percent from 307 in 2019 to 259 in 2020, the lowest number since 2015.

Worker Characteristics

In 2020, women accounted for 8.1 percent of all fatalities but 16.3 percent of workplace homicides.

There were 954 workplace deaths among workers between the ages of 45 and 54 in 2020, the lowest number since 2000.

The fatality rate for Hispanic or Latino workers in 2020 was 4.5 deaths per 100,000 FTE workers. This is an increase over the previous year’s 4.2.

The number of occupational fatalities among black or African American workers decreased by 14.7% in 2020, falling from 634 in 2019 to 541 in 2020.

Fatal Event or Exposure

There were 1,778 fatal transportation incidents in 2020, down 16.2 percent from 2,122 in 2019. The number of fatalities due to violence and other injuries by persons or animals decreased from 841 in 2019 to 705 in 2020 (-16.2 percent). In 2020, intentional injuries by person decreased 14.5 percent to 651 cases.

There were 672 worker deaths in 2020 due to exposure to harmful substances or environments, the highest number since 2011. In this category, unintentional overdoses resulting from non-medical use of drugs accounted for 57.7 percent of deaths (388), up from 48.8 percent in 2019.


Transport and material moving workers, and construction and extraction workers, accounted for nearly half of all fatal occupational injuries (47.4 percent), representing 1,282 and 976 deaths, respectively.

The number of fatal occupational injuries among sales and office and administration support occupations decreased by 19.0% between 2019 (332 deaths) and 2020 (269 deaths).

There were 44 fatalities in healthcare support occupations in 2019, up 15.8 percent from 38 in 2018.

The number of fatal occupational injuries among law enforcement workers increased 18.6 percent between 2019 and 2020.

Pilots and flight engineers’ fatal injury rate decreased from 61.8 per 100,000 FTE in 2019 to 34.3 in 2020.

Among fishing and hunting workers, there were 132.1 fatal work injuries per 100,000 FTEs in 2020. Transportation incidents accounted for 71.4 percent of these deaths.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported 2.7 million nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses in 2020, down from 2.8 million in 2019.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the incidence rate of total recordable cases (TRC) in private industry was 2.7 per 100 full-time equivalents (FTE). Statistics from the Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses (SOII) provided these estimates.

2.1 million nonfatal injuries were reported by private industry employers in 2020, down from 2.7 million in 2019. The number of reported illness cases more than quadrupled to 544,600 from 127,200 in 2019.

A nearly 4,000 percent increase in respiratory illnesses reported by employers contributed to this increase.

Private industry employers reported 2.2 injuries per 100 full-time employees in 2020, down from 2.6 in 2019. In the same period, the number of illness cases increased from 12.4 to 55.9 per 10,000 full-time equivalents (FTEs). A rise in respiratory illness rates was responsible for the increase, which went from 1.1 to 44.0 cases per 10,000 FTE workers.

Nonfatal injuries and illnesses caused 1,176,340 workers to miss work in the private sector at least one day in 2020, 32.4 percent higher than in 2019. 33.2 percent (390,020 cases) of these cases were classified as other diseases due to viruses not elsewhere classified, which included illnesses related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In 2020, 38.3 percent of all private industry cases involving days away from work (DAFW) involved ten occupations. Nursing assistants reported the most DAFW cases with 96,480, an increase of 68,890 cases (249.7%) from 2019.

The number of DAFW cases for registered nurses increased by 58,590 cases (290.8 percent) to 78,740 cases in 2020. There were 43,500 DAFW cases among heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers in 2020, a decrease of 4,490 cases (9.4%). In 2020, there were essentially no DAFW cases for laborers, freight, stock, and material movers.

In addition to the occupations mentioned above, nursing assistants, registered nurses, and licensed practical and vocational nurses had significant increases in their DAFW incidence rates in 2020. Nursing assistants had a DAFW incidence rate of 1,023.8 per 10,000 FTE employees in 2020, a jump from 283.5 in 2019. Heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers’ private industry rate decreased from 280.0 per 10,000 FTE employees in 2019 to 259.7 in 2020.

In 2020, the average number of days away from work in all private industry occupations was 12 days, up from 8 days in 2019. Additionally, nursing assistants had a median of 12 days, which doubled from 6 days in 2019.

For registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, and licensed vocational nurses, days away from work jumped in 2020 to 13 days and 12 days, respectively. In 2020, heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers spent 23 days on the road, compared to 19 days in 2019.


Across all private industry sectors, injuries and illnesses decreased or remained the same in 2020, except for health care and social assistance, where they rose 40.1 percent. In 2020, the health care and social assistance sector had 806,200 injury and illness cases, over half resulting in at least one day away from work. 151,410 cases in this sector resulted in at least one day away from work in 2019. There were 575,200 cases in the private sector in 2019. In 2020, this sector had 5.5 cases per 100 FTE workers, compared with 3.8 cases per 100 FTE workers in 2019.

There were 390,020 DAFW cases in the private industry due to other viruses not elsewhere classified. Health care and social assistance accounted for 288,890 (74.1 percent) of these cases.

Additional Highlights

In 2020, there were 585,540 DAFW cases for women in private industry, a 68.0 percent increase over the previous year. There were 577,990 DAFW cases for men in private industry in 2020, up 7.8 percent from 535,980 in 2019.

The median number of days away from work for private industry workers aged 65 or over was 14, compared to 16 days for the same group of workers in 2019.

How Can a Lawyer Help Me with an Office Accident Claim?

Employees may miss extended periods of work due to office accidents. You may wish to hire a personal injury lawyer if you need to file a claim for a work-related injury. An attorney can help you determine whether you are entitled to compensation and what your rights are. In addition, a qualified lawyer in your area can help clarify the laws in your jurisdiction and how they might affect your claim.

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