NSC Statement on Bureau of Labor Statistics Report for 2022

Data provided by BLS make it clear more education and resources, such as policies and training, are needed to keep people safe on the job.

December 19, 2023

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released its annual report on fatal occupational injuries for 2022, and the results are staggering. The report reveals 5,486 fatal work injuries were recorded in the United States that year, a 5.7% increase from 5,190 deaths on the job in 2021, in addition to another devastating trend: 525 people died specifically from overdoses at work in 2022, up 13.1% from 2021 and 619% from 2011.

Unintentional overdose from nonmedical use of drugs or alcohol on the job has increased greatly over the last few years, and more must be done by employers to prevent these fatalities. Overdoses can happen anywhere, and the BLS report shows these medical emergencies can be fatal and are occurring in the workplace. This further makes overdose and naloxone awareness, access to naloxone in workplace first aid kids and other locations, and adoption of programs to ensure workplaces and their employees are equipped to save a life critical components to workplace safety.

Some of the other key takeaways from the report are:

● The fatal work injury rate was 3.7 fatalities per 100,000 full-time equivalent (FTE) workers, up from 3.6 per 100,000 FTE in 2021 and up from the 2019 pre-pandemic rate of 3.5

● A worker died every 96 minutes from a work-related injury in 2022

● Workers in transportation and material-moving occupations experienced 1,620 fatal work injuries in 2022, an increase of 6.4% from 2021; these workers represent the occupational group with the highest number of fatalities 

● Transportation incidents remained the most frequent type of fatal event in 2022 with 2,066 fatal injuries, an increase of 4.2% from 2021; this major category accounted for 37.7% of all work-related fatalities for 2022

● Suicides increased 13.1% to 267 fatalities in 2022 after two consecutive years of declines

These data provided by BLS make it clear more education and resources, such as policies and training, are needed to keep people safe on the job. The National Safety Council encourages lawmakers to support and pass the WORK to Save Lives Act which removes barriers to get opioid overdose reversal medications in workplaces and serves as a crucial step toward preventing workplace fatalities from opioid overdoses. To learn more about how employers can help end the overdose epidemic and ensure they are prepared to respond, please visit nsc.org/respondready. For more information on other ways to eliminate workplace fatalities through the use of technology, please visit nsc.org/worktozero.

About the National Safety Council
The National Safety Council is America’s leading nonprofit safety advocate – and has been for 110 years. As a mission-based organization, we work to eliminate the leading causes of preventable death and injury, focusing our efforts on the workplace and roadways. We create a culture of safety to not only keep people safer at work, but also beyond the workplace so they can live their fullest lives.

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