Bureau of Labor Statistics

BLS: Injury, illness rate drops again

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Washington – The rate of work-related injuries and illnesses in private industry declined in 2013, continuing a nearly unbroken downward trend spanning more than a decade, according to the latest estimates from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Released Dec. 4, results from the BLS annual Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses show a rate of 3.3 injuries and illnesses per 100 full-time workers in 2013, down from 3.4 in 2012. During the past 11 years, the private-industry rate has dropped annually, with one exception – the rate in 2012 remained the same as in 2011 at 3.4.

Other notable findings from the report:

  • For the first time since 2009, the rate of serious injuries and illnesses requiring days away from work, job transfer or restriction declined.
  • The injury and illness rate among state and local government workers declined to 5.2 in 2013 from 5.6 the previous year.
  • The majority (75.5 percent) of the estimated 2.9 million injuries in 2013 occurred in service-providing industries, including trade, transportation, hospitality and health services.

The release of the annual injury and illness summary was delayed following the discovery of data processing errors. The errors primarily were limited to national-level estimates for private-sector industries for 2011 and 2012, and BLS in November released corrected data for those two years.