Inputs: Occupational Safety and Health Risks
An estimated 13,455,000 workers in manufacturing industries are at risk for fatal and nonfatal injuries. Occupations within the Manufacturing sector account for 5% of U.S. workers, and 8% of workplace fatalities.
The BLS publishes detailed information about occupational injuries, illnesses, and fatalities for all industry sectors.
In 2004, the manufacturing industries recorded 459 fatal work injuries, the fourth highest total among industry sectors. The number of fatal work injuries in the Manufacturing sector rose 9% percent from 420 in 2003 to 459 in 2004. The number of workers who were fatally injured after being struck by objects rose 12% percent across all sectors in 2004 (from 531 in 2003 to 596 in 2004), led by increases in the number of workers who were fatally injured after contact with falling, rolling, or sliding objects. A disproportionate number of these fatalities occurred in the Manufacturing sector with several manufacturing industry groups having a very substantial percentage of these fatalities.
|Manufacturing||Fatalities||Selected event or exposure §|
|Number||Percent **||Highway ‡||Homicides||Falls||Struck by object|
|All Manufacturing Industry Groups||459||8||17||3||10||14|
|Wood Products Manufacturing||49||1||8||-||8||14|
|Plastic and Rubber Products Manufacturing||25||§§||-||-||-||12|
|Nonmetallic Mineral Products Manufacturing||54||1||35||-||9||9|
|Primary Metal Manufacturing||28||§§||-||-||14||32|
|Fabricated Metal Products Manufacturing||57||1||14||5||11||25|
|Transportation Equipment Manufacturing||33||1||12||-||15||21|
* Totals include data for industries not shown separately.
† Based on the North American Industry Classification System, 2002.
§ The figure shown is the percent of the total fatalities for that industry group.
** The figure shown is the percent of total occupational fatalities.
‡ "Highway" includes deaths to vehicle occupants resulting from traffic incidents that occur on the public roadway, shoulder or surrounding area. It excludes incidents occurring entirely off the roadway, such as in parking lots and on farms, incidents involving trains, and deaths to pedestrians or other nonpassengers.
§§ Less than or equal to 0.5%.
Source: Fatal occupational injuries by industry and selected event or exposure, 2004
Additional BLS occupational fatality information can be found in the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries
Nonfatal injuries and illnesses
A total of 4.3 million nonfatal injuries and illnesses were reported in U.S. private industry workplaces in 2004, with an injury and illness rate of 4.8 cases per 100 equivalent full-time workers. The manufacturing industries had 836,700 injuries, representing nearly 20% of the private industry total. Manufacturing had an injury and illness a rate of 6.6 cases per 100 equivalent full-time workers, down from 6.8 a year earlier. The 2004 rate, however, was the second highest of the eight NIOSH sectors. The Manufacturing sector accounted for 42%of all newly reported cases of occupational illnesses. The transportation equipment manufacturing group (NAICS 336) with 151,500 cases, the food manufacturing group (NAICS 311) with 122,300 cases, and the fabricated metal product manufacturing group (NAICS 332) with 119,900 cases, accounted for 42% of all cases reported in manufacturing, but accounted for only one-third of manufacturing employment in 2004. The injury and illness rate for each of these industry groups is significantly higher than that for the Manufacturing sector as a whole.
Incidence rates* of nonfatal occupational injuries and illnesses by selected industries and case types, 2004
|Industry Group†||NAICS Code §||2004 Annual Average Employment ** (thousands)||Incident Rate *||Total Recordable Cases (thousands)|
|All Manufacturing Industry Groups||31-33||14,257.4||6.6||941.9|
|Beverage and Tobacco Product Manufacturing||312||193.7||8.7||16.6|
|Textile Product Mills||314||176.2||5.4||9.5|
|Leather and Allied Product Manufacturing||316||42.5||6.9||2.8|
|Wood Products Manufacturing||321||548.0||10.0||54.8|
|Printing and Related Support Activities||323||658.5||4.5||28.2|
|Petroleum and Coal Products Manufacturing||324||112.3||2.5||3.1|
|Plastic and Rubber Products Manufacturing||326||803.7||7.7||62.6|
|Nonmetallic Mineral Products Manufacturing||327||498.5||8.0||40.4|
|Primary Metal Manufacturing||331||466.0||10.0||49.0|
|Fabricated Metal Products Manufacturing||332||1488.7||8.0||119.9|
|Computer and Electronic Product Manufacturing||334||1314.9||2.3||30.5|
|Electrical Equipment, Appliance, & Component Manufacturing||335||443.8||5.5||24.1|
|Transportation Equipment Manufacturing||336||1763.4||8.5||151.5|
|Furniture and Related Product Manufacturing||337||568.5||8.3||46.0|
- The incidence rates represent the number of injuries and illnesses per 100 full-time workers and were calculated as: (N/EH) x 200,000, where
- N = number of injuries and illnesses
- EH = total hours worked by all employees during the calendar year
- 200,000 = base for 100 equivalent full-time workers (working 40 hours per week, 50 weeks per year)
- Totals include data for industries not shown separately.
- North American Industry Classification System -- United States , 2002
- Employment is expressed as an annual average and is derived primarily from the BLS-Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (QCEW) program.
NOTE: Because of rounding, components may not add to totals. Dash indicates data not available.
Detailed data on nonfatal injuries and illnesses in the Manufacturing sector can be found in the following table:
NIOSH Worker Health Chartbook, 2004
DHHS (NIOSH) Publication 2004-146
The Worker Health Chartbook, 2004 is a descriptive epidemiologic reference on occupational morbidity and mortality in the United States. A resource for agencies, organizations, employers, researchers, workers, and others who need to know about occupational injuries and illnesses, the Chartbook includes more than 400 figures and tables describing the magnitude, distribution, and trends of the Nation's occupational injuries, illnesses, and fatalities.
NOTE: Data presented in this document are based on the 1987 Standard Industrial Classification (SIC), which does not correspond directly with the 2002 NAICS. Convert 1987 SIC codes to 2002 NAICS codes using Correspondence Tables: 1987 SIC Matched to 2002 NAICS
NIOSH Fatal Occupational Injury Cost Fact Sheet:
Manufacturing: DHHS (NIOSH) Publication No. 2006-154
Agriculture, Forestry, and Fishing DHHS (NIOSH) Publication No. 2006-151 (September 2006)
Includes the number, rate, and costs of fatal occupational injuries in the U.S. agriculture industry by selected characteristics, 1992–2002.
- Page last reviewed: September 28, 2012
- Page last updated: September 28, 2012
- Content source:
- National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Office of the Director