Bureau of Labor Statistics Federal agencies

BLS says recent injury, illness data may be inaccurate

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Washington – As a result of unspecified data processing errors, recent injury and illness data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics may be inaccurate.

BLS published incorrect estimates for national nonfatal injuries and illnesses in the private sector for 2011 and 2012, the agency said Oct. 9. State and federal government sector estimates were not affected.

Upcoming injury and illness reports on 2013 data, expected Oct. 30 and Nov. 14, have been delayed because of the error. At press time, a new release date was not available.

Details on the errors are not yet publicly known, and it is hard to say what effect those errors might have on the 2011 and 2012 data, according to Ken Kolosh, manager of the National Safety Council’s statistics department.

Kolosh said that no matter the size of the error, or how much it may or may not impact the data, the employees at BLS likely are taking the errors very seriously. “Given the culture there, they’re not going to make light of it even if it ends up being a small technical issue,” he said, adding that he expects BLS to disclose what the errors are.

When contacted by Safety+Health, a BLS spokesperson declined further comment.