Contact with or exposure to electricity continues to be one of the leading causes of workplace fatalities and injuries in the United States. Between 2011 and 2021, there was a total of 1,201 workplace fatalities involving electricity reported by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and 1,653 electrical fatalities reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. During this period, 69% of all electrically related fatalities happened in non-electrically related occupations

Workplace Electrical Fatalities, OSHA and BLS, 2011 – 2021

  • 118 occupations were involved in electrical fatalities
    • 31% of occupations where electrically related occupations
    • 69% were non-electrical occupations
  • 1.2% average decrease in non-electrical occupation electrical fatalities
  • 0.89% average decrease in electrical occupation electrical fatalities

Top 10 Occupations Involved in Electrical Fatalities, 2011 – 2021

  • Electricians*: 15.15%
  • Laborers, except construction: 10.07%
  • Construction laborers: 8.99%
  • Electrical power installers and repairers*: 8.49%
  • Tree trimming occupations: 5.33%
  • Electricians’ apprentices*: 3.25%
  • Heating, air conditioning, and refrig. mechanics: 2.83%
  • Painters, construction and maintenance: 2.75%
  • Roofers: 2.16%
  • Truck drivers, heavy: 1.92%

* Electrical occupations

Source of Electrical Fatalities, All Workers

  • Overhead power line contact: 582 fatalities
  • Unexpected contact with energy: 385 fatalities
  • Working on energized parts: 55 fatalities
  • Ground fault: 46 fatalities
  • Damaged wiring or equipment: 41fatalities
  • Troubleshooting / testing: 29 fatalities
  • Worker mistake: 21 fatalities
  • Underground power lines: 11 fatalities
  • Arc-flash: 10 fatalities
  • Lockout / tagout failure: 9 fatalities
  • Improper installation: 4 fatalities
  • Backfeed: 2 fatalities
  • Defective equipment / equipment failed: 1 fatalities
  • Two or more sources: 4 fatalities

Cause of Electrical Fatality, All Workers

  • Contact with overhead power lines: 45.7%
  • Working on or near energized conductors / energized parts: 44.9%
  • Lockout / tagout procedure failure or safety controls removed: 8.4%
  • Other: 1%

Additional Charts and Tables