Each year, the Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI) collects information on fatal occupational electrical injuries using the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI) and Survey of Occupational Injuries (SOII). ESFI then publishes the information in tabular and graphical form to esfi.org. The most recent data covers the 11 years from 2011 to 2021.

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. The data high points are as follows:

Workplace Electrical Fatalities, OSHA and BLS, 2011 – 2021

  • 118 occupations were involved in electrical fatalities
    • 31% of occupations were electrically related occupations
    • 69% were non-electrical occupations

 

Top 10 Occupations Involved in Electrical Fatalities, 2011 – 2021

  • Electricians*: 15.15% (*Electrical occupations)
  • 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%

 

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: 41 fatalities
  • 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