Top 14 Things You Should Know from the Death on the Job 2024 Report

Death on the 2024

Today, ahead of Workers Memorial Day on April 28, the AFL-CIO released our 33rd annual report, Death on the Job: The Toll of Neglect. This annual report serves as a national and state-by-state profile of worker safety and health, offering direction to policymakers and regulatory bodies as they strive to address the scourge of working people facing death, injury and illness at work. 

“Despite workers’ hard-won safety and health rights, this report shows the fight is far from over,” said AFL-CIO President Liz Shuler. “Too many workers face retaliation for reporting unsafe working conditions or injuries, while low penalties fail to deter employers from following the law. The alarming disparities in workplace fatalities among workers of color are unacceptable, symptomatic of deeply ingrained racial inequity and the need to pay increased attention to the dangerous industries that treat workers as disposable. As we honor those who have fallen this Workers Memorial Day, we remain committed to holding corporations accountable so that all jobs are safe jobs—where every worker can return home safely at the end of the day.”  

Here are 14 things you need to know from the 2024 Death on the Job report:

  1. 344 workers died each day from hazardous working conditions.
  2. 5,486 workers were killed on the job in the United States.
  3. An estimated 120,000 workers died from occupational diseases.
  4. The job fatality rate increased again to 3.7 per 100,000 workers. 
  5. Workers of color die on the job at a higher rate: Black and Latino worker job fatality rates are disproportionate compared with all other workers and are continuing to increase. 
  6. Employers reported nearly 3.5 million work-related injuries and illnesses, an increase from the previous year.
  7. 43 workers died from heat on the job; fatal and nonfatal data are an undercount of the real problem.
  8. Workplace homicides and workplace suicides increased 9% and 13%, respectively, from 2021 to 2022.
  9. Separately, unintentional overdoses at work increased 13% from 2021 to 2022. 
  10. The rate of serious workplace violence injuries has increased to 4.3 per 10,000 workers.
  11. Musculoskeletal disorders from repetitive motion injuries continue to be a major problem, accounting for 28% of all serious work-related injuries and illnesses in private industry.
  12. Underreporting of all workplace injuries and illnesses is widespread—the true toll of work-related injuries and illnesses is 5.6 million to 8.4 million each year in private industry. 
  13. Chemical exposures continue to plague working people, leading to debilitating, life-threatening diseases that are totally preventable.
  14. The cost of job injuries and illnesses is enormous, estimated at $174 billion to $348 billion a year—an undercount of the real impact on society, families and communities. 

“This report exposes an urgent crisis for workers of color and reaffirms what we’ve long known: When we talk about justice for workers, we must prioritize racial equity,” said AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Fred Redmond. “The fact that Black and Latino workers continue to die on the job at disproportionate rates demands a reckoning with the failure of employers to protect them. We must honor the lives lost on the job with action, as we recommit ourselves to advancing safety, health and equity for all workers.”