The 10 most dangerous US states to work in

fatal occupational injuries state map

  • Certain jobs are inherently dangerous, and deaths in the workplace vary from state to state.
  • Using data on fatal workplace injuries in 2018 from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, we ranked the 10 states with the highest fatal injury rates.
  • Wyoming had the highest fatal injury rate, while Delaware had the lowest.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Farming is a surprisingly dangerous business, especially in states that already have relatively high workplace death rates.

For 24 states in the country — including half of the 10 states with the highest fatality rates in 2018 — the deadliest industry was agriculture, forestry, fishing, and hunting. 

The Bureau of Labor Statistics recently released its annual Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries. In addition to reporting fatal injury rates overall and by occupations from the previous year, the news release includes the number and frequency of fatal injuries in each state and DC.

The above map, based on the BLS data, shows overall workplace fatality rates in each state for 2018, measured as the number of deaths that year per 100,000 full-time equivalent workers. 28 states had fatal work injury rates above the national average of 3.5 per 100,000 workers. The frequency of fatal injuries varied from state to state, ranging from 1.6 in Delaware to 11.5 in Wyoming. 

Here are the 10 most dangerous states to work as measured by their 2018 work fatality rate per 100,000 full-time equivalent workers. We also included the industry with the highest fatality rate, the most common cause of fatal injuries, and the occupation and industry with the highest numbers of fatal injuries in 2018.

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Deadly US states to work in
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Deadly US states to work in

10. Montana

Fatal injury rate: 5.5

Industry with the highest 2018 fatality rate: Construction 

Industry with the most fatal injuries in 2018 (tie): Natural resources and mining and construction

Occupation with the most fatal injuries in 2018: Transportation and material moving occupations

Most frequent type of fatal event: Transportation incidents

9. Indiana

Fatal injury rate: 5.6

Industry with the highest 2018 fatality rate: Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting

Industry with the most fatal injuries in 2018: Trade, transportation, and utilities

Occupation with the most fatal injuries in 2018: Transportation and material moving occupations

Most frequent type of fatal event: Transportation incidents

8. Idaho

Fatal injury rate: 5.8

Industry with the highest 2018 fatality rate: Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting

Industry with the most fatal injuries in 2018 (tie): Natural resources and mining and agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting

Occupation with the most fatal injuries in 2018: Transportation and material moving occupations

Most frequent type of fatal event: Transportation incidents

7. Arkansas

Fatal injury rate: 6.3

Industry with the highest 2018 fatality rate: Transportation and utilities

Industry with the most fatal injuries in 2018: Trade, transportation, and utilities

Occupation with the most fatal injuries in 2018: Construction and extraction occupations

Most frequent type of fatal event: Transportation incidents

6. Mississippi

Fatal injury rate: 6.7

Industry with the highest 2018 fatality rate: Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting

Industry with the most fatal injuries in 2018: Trade, transportation, and utilities

Occupation with the most fatal injuries in 2018: Transportation and material moving occupations

Most frequent type of fatal event: Transportation incidents

5. South Dakota

Fatal injury rate: 6.9

Industry with the highest 2018 fatality rate: Transportation and utilities

Industry with the most fatal injuries in 2018: (tie): Natural resources and mining and agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting

Occupation with the most fatal injuries in 2018: Management occupations

Most frequent type of fatal event: Transportation incidents

4. West Virginia

Fatal injury rate: 7.9

Industry with the highest 2018 fatality rate: Mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction

Industry with the most fatal injuries in 2018: Natural resources and mining

Occupation with the most fatal injuries in 2018: Transportation and material moving occupations

Most frequent type of fatal event: Transportation incidents

3. North Dakota

Fatal injury rate: 9.6

Industry with the highest 2018 fatality rate: Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting

Industry with the most fatal injuries in 2018: Natural resources and mining

Occupation with the most fatal injuries in 2018: Management occupations

Most frequent type of fatal event: Transportation incidents

2. Alaska

Fatal injury rate: 9.9

Industry with the highest 2018 fatality rate: Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting

Industry with the most fatal injuries in 2018: Natural resources and mining

Occupation with the most fatal injuries in 2018: Farming, fishing, and forestry occupations

Most frequent type of fatal event: Transportation incidents

1. Wyoming

Fatal injury rate: 11.5

Industry with the highest 2018 fatality rate: Transportation and utilities

Industry with the most fatal injuries in 2018: Trade, transportation, and utilities

Occupation with the most fatal injuries in 2018: Transportation and material moving occupations

Most frequent type of fatal event: Transportation incidents

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