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How Many People Get Killed at Work Every Year?

Published: Sep 08, 2015

We work to live, and often we live to work. But the staggering facts are that 6,300 people die every day due to occupational accidents or work-related diseases including cancer, heart disease and stroke, according to the United Nations' International Labour Organization. That amounts to 2.3 million deaths a year -- far more annual fatalities than have occurred in any armed conflict since World War II. The statistics have nearly doubled in the last 15 years; there were 1.2 million work-related deaths in 2000.

The ILO lists the three most dangerous industries as agriculture, construction and mining. A worker dies every 15 seconds from a work-related accident or work-related disease. And even when they are not fatal, some 317 million accidents occur every year on the job.

More about workplace dangers:

  • The ILO reports that the cost of poor occupational safety standards around the world amounts to about 4% of the global Gross Domestic Product each year.
  • In the U.S., the AFL-CIO claims that more than 510,000 lives have been saved since Congress passed the Occupational Safety and Health Act in 1970.
  • Statistically, North Dakota has been ranked the most dangerous and deadly place to work in America. In 2015, for the third year in a row, North Dakota was the state with the highest number of work-related fatalities.
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