Bureau of Labor Statistics Federal agencies

BLS: Lost work time and injury severity rates drop in 2015

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Washington – The overall rate of nonfatal occupational injuries and illnesses requiring days away from work – as well as the number of median days needed to recover – decreased in 2015, according to data released Nov. 10 by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

In 2015, 104.0 injury and illness cases per 10,000 full-time workers resulted in days away from work – a 2.9 percent decrease from the 107.1 rate recorded in 2014. For private industry, the rate was 93.9 – a drop of nearly 4 percent from the 2014 rate of 97.8.

The number of median days away from work, considered a “key measure of severity of injuries and illnesses” by BLS, fell to eight in 2015 from nine in 2014.

Two occupations that experienced lower incidence rates in 2015 were heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers and nursing assistants. The rates among drivers fell nearly 16 percent to 298.7 cases per 10,000 full-time workers from 355.4 cases in 2014. Nursing assistants’ rates declined almost 7.3 percent to 327.8 in 2015 from 353.6 the previous year.

Other 2015 highlights from the data:

  • 1.15 million injuries resulting in days away from work occurred in 2015 – virtually unchanged from the 2014 total.
  • Overexertion and bodily reaction (376,190) resulted in 33 percent of total cases of occupational injuries or illnesses. The next most common event or exposure was slips, trips and falls (309,060), which accounted for 27 percent of total cases.
  • The rate of injuries and illnesses resulting from cuts, lacerations or punctures was 9.6 cases per 10,000 full-time workers, up from 8.8 cases in 2014.

This data release is the second in a series of three annual BLS reports. The third report, slated for release in December, will highlight Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries findings.

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