In 2016, the latest year for which data is available, nearly 5,200 workers died on the job in the United States. This represents a sharp increase over 2015, when 4,836 people died as a result of injuries sustained in workplace accidents. For 2016, 3.6 per 100,000 workers died from injuries sustained while on the job in the United States. In Minnesota, over the same period, 92 workers lost their lives in workplace accidents – or 3.4 per 100,000 workers.

These statistics were compiled in the AFL-CIO’s annual report on the number of workers killed while on the job, “Death on the Job, The Toll of Neglect.” The report ranks Minnesota as the 31st most dangerous state for people to work in. One surprise is that in 2016 workplace violence was the second leading cause of death among workers in the United States. During 2016, 500 homicides were counted among the 866 deaths attributable to violence at work.

The four states located immediately west of Minnesota were among the five most dangerous states in which to work. Wyoming topped the list with a fatality rate of 12.3 per 100,000 workers. Montana was third at 7.9 deaths per 100,000 workers. South Dakota and North Dakota rounded out the top five with 7.5 and 7.0 deaths per 100,000 workers, respectively. Alaska was the second most dangerous state with a fatality rate of 10.6 per 100,000 workers.

Construction proved to be the most dangerous industry, accounting for 991 – or just under 20 percent – of all workplace deaths nationwide. Transportation and agriculture were also near the top in dangerous industries. Agriculture – which statistically includes forestry, fishing and hunting – was the most dangerous industry on a per capita basis, accounting for 23.2 deaths for every 100,000 people employed in the sector.

Source: AFL-CIO, “Death on the Job, The Toll of Neglect, 2018,” accessed May 15, 2018.