Pennsylvania Fatal Work Injuries in 2020

Date: June 17, 2022

 The U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics has recently released data indicating that there was a total of 148 fatal work injuries in Pennsylvania in 2020. This figure represents a series low for Pennsylvania according to Regional Commissioner Alexandra Hall Bovee. The number of total fatalities in Pennsylvania was 154 in 2019.  The series high for fatal workplace injuries in the state was 354 in 1994. Nationwide, a total of 4,764 fatal work injuries occurred in 2020, which represents an 11% decrease from 5,333 fatal work injuries in 2019, according to statistics compiled by the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI). The 4,764 fatal occupational injuries in 2020 represent the lowest yearly number since 2013.   

       In Pennsylvania, incidents involving transportation accounted for 49 fatal work injuries and that figure represents approximately one-third of all fatal workplace injuries in the state in 2020. By comparison, in 2019 there were 62 fatal worker deaths that involved transportation incidents.

Falls, slips, and trips caused 28 fatalities in 2020, an increase from 16 in 2019. Contact with objects and equipment resulted in 27 worker deaths, down from 32 in 2019. Exposure to harmful substances or environments resulted in 25 work-related deaths, an increase from 22 in 2019. In the U.S., transportation incidents were the most frequent fatal workplace event in 2020, accounting for 37% of all work-related fatalities. Falls, slips, and trips were the second-most common fatal event accounting for 17% of fatal work-related deaths in 2020.

       Additionally, males accounted for 93% of Pennsylvania work-related fatalities, with transportation incidents making up 33 percent of the fatalities for men. White non-Hispanics accounted for 85% of those who died from work-related injuries in Pennsylvania. Nationally, white non-Hispanic males accounted for 61% of work-related deaths. Workers between 25 and 54 years of age accounted for 60% of Pennsylvania’s work-related fatalities in 2020, compared to 56% of work-related fatalities nationwide. Of the 148 fatal 2020 Pennsylvania work injuries, 72% of workers were considered employees who worked for salary or wages while the remaining 28% were self-employed. The most frequent fatal work event for wage and salary workers was transportation incidents. Falls, slips, and trips were the most frequent fatal event for self-employed workers.

       If you, a friend, or a family member have suffered a work injury- including a fatal work injury-  and have questions about the worker’s compensation claim, contact me, Attorney Tom Cummings, at or call (570) 347-1011 for a free consultation.

Tom Cummings
Thomas P. Cummings has been a Partner with Dougherty Leventhal & Price, LLP since 1996 and has been with the firm since 1991. He focuses his practice on workers’ compensation, Social Security Disability and personal injury cases.