Workplace Safety Statistics: Injury and Illness Rates for Government Jobs

Workplace safety data shows that many of the most dangerous jobs are found in governments.

Occupations recording the highest injury and illness rates include nursing and residential care facilities, police and fire personnel.

The table below lists 2012 nonfatal occupational injury and illness rates for all state and local government industries with published data. Rates for the more serious cases involving days away from work, job transfer or restriction, commonly referred to as the DART rate, are shown in the rightmost column.

Please note that some subsectors are contained within other industries listed. ("Justice, public order, and safety activities” also count as “public administration,” for example.)

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2012 Injuries, Illnesses, and Fatalities

Causes of Injuries and Illnesses
Causes of workplace injuries vary greatly by industry and job type. The following table lists causes of injuries requiring days away from work for all local government job types. Rates shown are per 10,000 employees :

Event or exposure Rate per 10,000
Violence and other injuries by persons or animal 22.2
...Intentional injury by other person 9
...Injury by person unintentional or intent unknown 11.1
...Animal and insect related incidents 2.1
Transportation incidents 13.3
...Roadway incidents involving motorized land vehicles 10.6
Fires, explosions 0.5
Falls, slips, trips 53.8
...Slips, trips without fall 9.6
...Fall on same level 34.9
...Fall to lower level 7.6
Exposure to harmful substances or environments 6.2
Contact with object, equipment 30.8
...Struck by object 17.6
...Struck against object 8.1
...Caught in object, equipment, material 2.4
Overexertion and bodily reaction 62.3
...Overexertion in lifting or lowering 18.2
...Repetitive motion involving microtasks 4.7
All other 3.7

Source: BLS, 2011 data

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