Safety in the Workplace—More Vital Than Ever as U.S. Injury Rates Climb

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  • Increase in Workplace Fatalities—Delaware reports a rise of 143% in fatal workplace injuries, the highest in the nation, over two years.
  • Research finds an average 13.22% increase in fatal workplace injuries across the U.S. from 2020 to 2022.
  • Staggering Costs of Workplace Injuries—Average cost of a workplace injury claim is $40,000 with an additional $120,000 in indirect losses.
  • Significant Benefits when Implementing Safety Processes & Procedures—Enhanced safety leads to increased productivity, efficiency, and employee morale.

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Delaware has recorded the highest increase in fatal injuries in the workplace over two years, from 2020 to 2022, with the number of recorded fatalities rising by 143%, research has found.

Research by Orion Registrar examined publicly available data on health and safety in American workplaces from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The study found a total of 2,804,200 recordable cases of non-fatal injury and illness cases, resulting in 1,184,200 days away from work. The surge in illnesses is attributed to the increase in respiratory illness instances, marking a 35.4% rise in 2022.

Top 10 States with the highest increase in work fatalities

U.S. State 2020 2021 2022 Percentage increase
(2020 to 2022)
Delaware 7 13 17 143%
Mississippi 44 41 78 77%
Nevada 37 43 60 62%
Hawaii 16 15 25 56%
New Mexico 37 53 57 54%
North Dakota 26 34 37 42%
New Jersey 82 110 116 41%
Rhode Island 5 5 7 40%
Vermont 8 125 11 38%
New Hampshire 14 21 19 38%


Delaware saw the largest increase in workplace fatalities (up 143% over two years), followed by Mississippi (up 77%) and Nevada (up 62%). Vermont recorded the highest number of workplace fatalities in a single year, with 125 fatalities recorded in 2021.

The study found that the number of fatal injuries in workplaces increased by an average of 13.22% between 2020 to 2022. A total of 5,486 fatal injuries were recorded in 2022, with a workplace fatality recorded every 96 minutes compared to every 101 minutes in 2021. Fatalities due to falls, slips and trips increased from 850 in 2021 to 865 in 2022.

According to NCCI, the most expensive lost-time claims under workers’ compensation due to injury in 2020 and 2021 were from motor vehicle collisions. The average claim value in these circumstances reached a significant $89,152 per incident.

Workplace safety is not only a crucial factor in preventing injuries and saving lives, but it also has a significant financial impact on organizations. Implementing robust Occupational Health and Safety (OH&S) systems along with ISO 45001 certification can substantially increase workplace safety.

Jorge Correa, Orion Registrar’s Compliance Director said, “Employers bear a legal, ethical, and moral duty to minimize the potential for work-related injuries, illnesses, and fatalities. ISO 45001 is more than a standard, it is a catalyst for organizational excellence. By ensuring legal compliance, fostering a culture of continuous improvement, and optimizing performance monitoring, it becomes a powerful tool for creating a safer, more productive workplace. The framework of this standard not only safeguards employees but also enhances productivity, streamlines objectives, and builds trust among stakeholders. With ISO 45001 certification, businesses will not only meet compliance requirements, they also gain a competitive advantage, reduce costs, and enjoy the benefits of lower insurance premiums. ISO 45001 is a commitment to excellence concerning health and safety in the workplace, which resonates with both employees and customers and sets the stage for sustainable success.”

Orion Registrar, an accredited ISO 45001 certification body, recognizes the importance of such systems in fostering a safer, healthier work environment. To support U.S. organizations in enhancing their safety standards, Orion Registrar offers complimentary training on ISO 45001 occupational health and safety management systems. This initiative is part of Orion’s commitment to helping organizations across the U.S. improve their workplace safety, thereby reducing injury rates and associated costs.

Sign up for free online ISO 45001 training and learn more about how ISO 45001 can help support workplace safety.


US Workplace Safety Statistics 2024 - Inforgraphic - Orion Registrar

Written by

Julian Russell

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