Connecting state and local government leaders

The States Where Work-Related Fatality Rates Are the Highest

Minot, North Dakota

Minot, North Dakota Michael Grass / Route Fifty


Connecting state and local government leaders

A new AFL-CIO report looks at the geography of workplace deaths and injuries.

Job-related injuries killed workers at a higher rate in North Dakota than in any other U.S. state in 2015, according to a report one of the nation’s largest labor organizations issued Wednesday.

The 2015 job-related fatality rate in North Dakota was 12.5 per 100,000 workers, according to the report, which was published by the AFL-CIO. The state had 437,072 employees and 47 workplace fatalities in 2015. Texas had the greatest number of workplace deaths, with 527 among 11,655,919 workers—a rate of 4.5 per 100,000—based on figures in the report.

Nationwide, the fatal injury rate in 2015 was 3.4 per 100,000 workers, unchanged from 2014, the report said, while a total of 4,836 workers in the U.S. were killed on the job.

Trailing North Dakota, the states with the other highest job-related fatality rates per 100,000 workers were: Wyoming (12), Montana (7.5), Mississippi (6.8) and Arkansas (5.8).

The lowest reported rate was in Rhode Island (1.2).

Construction, transportation, agriculture, fishing and forestry, the report notes, are among the nation’s most dangerous industries.

Workplace violence continues to be a leading cause of work-related deaths in the U.S., with 703 worker fatalities from violence reported in 2015, the AFL-CIO’s report said as well.

It also pointed out that the fatality rate for Latino workers was four per 100,000—18 percent higher than the national average—and that deaths among Latino workers increased to 903 from 804 in 2014. Of the Latino workers killed, 605 were immigrants.

An estimated 50,000 to 60,000 people, meanwhile, died from occupational diseases and nearly 3.7 million work-related injuries and illnesses were reported.

The report, titled “Death on the Job: The Toll of Neglect,” cites U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics figures and other information from the U.S. Department of Labor. A full copy can be found here.

Bill Lucia is a Senior Reporter for Government Executive’s Route Fifty and is based in Washington, D.C.

NEXT STORY Doing Less Time: Some States Cut Back on Probation