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December 17, 2019

A total of 75 fatal work-injuries were recorded in Minnesota in 2018 during the annual Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI), a decrease from the 101 fatal work-injuries in 2017 and 92 fatal work-injuries in 2016. Minnesota's 2018 fatal-injury rate is 2.7 fatalities per 100,000 full-time-equivalent workers. These and other workplace fatality statistics come from the CFOI, conducted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor.

Nationally, there were 5,250 fatally injured workers in 2018, up 2% from the 2017 count of 5,147 workers. The fatal work-injury rate remained unchanged at 3.5 fatalities per 100,000 full-time-equivalent workers.

The CFOI also provided the following statistics for Minnesota's workplace fatalities during 2018.

Industries and occupations

  • Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting recorded the highest number of worker fatalities, with 22 cases, one fewer than in 2017. The fatal-injury rate in 2018 for this industry sector is 23.2 fatalities per 100,000 full-time-equivalent workers.

  • Construction had the second-highest number of fatalities with 14 cases, compared to 11 cases in 2017, which resulted in its fatal-injury rate increasing to 7.4 fatalities per 100,000 full-time-equivalent workers in 2018 from 5.7 in 2017.

  • Retail trade recorded three fatal injuries, a 79% decrease from 2017, when the industry sector had 14 fatalities.

  • Other industries that saw decreases in fatalities were manufacturing, from nine fatalities in 2017 to five fatalities in 2018; and transportation and warehousing, from 10 fatalities in 2017 to four in 2018.

  • The occupation group of farmers, ranchers and other agricultural managers had the highest number of fatalities in 2018, at 13. The second-highest occupation was driver/sales workers and truck drivers, with nine fatalities.

Types of incidents

  • Transportation incidents accounted for 26 fatalities, the most for any incident type, which was down from 46 transportation incidents in both 2017 and 2016. Fourteen transportation fatalities occurred during roadway incidents involving one or more motorized land vehicles and seven involved non-roadway incidents. Transportation incidents were spread across many types of industries. Ten of these fatal transportation events occurred in the agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting industry sector and five in the construction industry. Twelve transportation events in 2018 involved freight hauling and utility trucks, one fewer than in 2017.

  • Contact with objects and equipment was the second most-frequent fatal work-related injury event in 2018, with 13 fatalities. There were 16 fatalities caused by contact with objects and equipment in 2017.

  • Twelve work-related fatalities in 2018 were due to falls, down from 14 fatalities due to falls in 2017.

  • There were 12 fatalities resulting from violence or intentional injury by persons or animals in 2018, compared to 14 such fatalities in 2017 and 10 fatalities in 2016. In 2018 there were six work-related suicides, the same number as there was in 2017.

Worker characteristics

  • Men accounted for 67 of the 75 fatally injured workers in 2018. There were eight fatally injured female workers, down from 12 in 2017 and lower still than the 2015 count of 14, the highest annual CFOI count in Minnesota since the inception of the program in 1992. Five of the eight fatally injured women in 2018 were involved in transportation incidents.

  • Workers age 55 and older accounted for 33 fatalities, with 13 of these fatalities occurring due to transportation incidents.

  • Fatal work-related injuries among wage and salary workers increased from 66 in 2017 to 55 in 2018; self-employed workers accounted for 20 fatalities in 2018, compared with 35 in 2017. Self-employed workers accounted for 10 of the 22 fatalities in the agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting industry.

Minnesota OSHA fatality investigations

Minnesota OSHA (MNOSHA) workplace fatality investigation statistics differ from CFOI. MNOSHA Compliance investigates all employee deaths under its jurisdiction that result from an accident or illness caused by or related to a workplace hazard. In federal-fiscal-year 2018 (October 2017 through September 2018), MNOSHA Compliance investigated 25 workplace fatalities (see The CFOI numbers include Minnesota workplace fatalities caused by traffic accidents, airplane crashes, mining accidents, farm accidents and accidents to the self-employed, federal workers and railroad workers, none of which are covered by MNOSHA enforcement.

CFOI program

The Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries, part of the Bureau of Labor Statistics' occupational safety and health statistics program, provides the most complete count of fatal work-injuries available. Workplace fatalities due to illnesses are not included.

The program uses diverse data sources to identify, verify and profile fatal work-injuries. Information about each workplace fatality (occupation and other worker characteristics, equipment being used and circumstances of the event) is obtained by cross-referencing source documents, such as death certificates, workers' compensation records, and reports to federal and state agencies. This method assures counts are as complete and accurate as possible. The Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry (DLI) collects the information about Minnesota’s workplace fatalities for the CFOI.

Minnesota 2018 CFOI tables are available at Additional data may be available by calling DLI Research and Statistics at 651-284-5428. National data from the CFOI program is available at