BISMARCK, N.D. (KXNET) — As KX has discussed in a previous study, North Dakotans have been deemed some of the most productive individuals in the United States — in part due to the important and exhausting work that state workers perform in both the agricultural and industrial fields. However, it’s worth noting that this sort of work can also be incredibly dangerous — and as new data suggests, despite its small size, this means that ND has one of the highest rates of workplace fatalities in the country.

In order to determine where this problem was most prevalent, researchers from business growth group Venture Smarter determined the average number of fatal work injuries reported for every 100,000 full-time workers in every state, using the latest information from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. When the states were ranked by this average number of deaths, it was determined that North Dakota is one of the most dangerous places in America — at least, as far as work-related accidents are concerned.

RankStateFatal Injuries Per 100,000 ResidentsPercent Change from Previous Year
2North Dakota9.022%
6New Mexico6.235%

In total, 26 North Dakotans were killed as a result of work-related injuries in 2020, and an additional 34 casualties were reported in 2021. It’s worth noting, however, that the numbers displayed above relating to workplace fatalities do not accurately represent the entirety of North Dakota’s workforce, and are primarily due to the abundance of jobs pertaining to agriculture and oil (two of the country’s most dangerous industries) throughout the state. The prevalence of these businesses and their prevalence in ND are responsible for “fixing” these numbers to some extent.

At the same time, while the 22% rise is certainly something to be concerned about, it pales in comparison to some other states — Delaware, despite having a relatively low average number of fatal accidents each year (2.8), saw a tremendous 65% rise in this number, and both New Hampshire and Ohio have also seen significant increases of over 40%. Ironically, while ND reported an increase in overall workplace-related deaths, its’ neighbor South Dakota is one of the states with the largest decline of fatalities along with Alaska and Arizona (which have reported decreases of 39%, 43%, and 32%, respectively).

In contrast to the places with the highest number of fatal workplace accidents per capita, there are many states with much lower numbers, and even some that have reported decreases in these numbers over the years. States like Hawaii, Washington, Connecticut, and Rhode Island boast not only low fatality rates, but also steadily decreasing average numbers.

RankStateFatal Injuries Per 100,000 ResidentsPercent Change from Previous Year
45New Jersey2.723%
50Rhode Island1.0-9%

“It’s clear that some employees are being subjected to unsafe working conditions or are operating in a volatile environment that increases the risk of a fatal injury,” states a spokesperson from Venture Smarter in a press release. “It’s essential that workers are conscious of potential hazards and flag any concerns to their manager, but it’s also key that employers ensure the correct workplace training has been provided and completed.”

In order to learn more about workplace fatality rates in the United States, visit this page on the Bureal of Labor Statistics’ website.