Statistics Bureau of Labor Statistics

Nonfatal injury and illness rate in private sector continues to decline: BLS

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Washington – The nonfatal injury and illness rate for private-sector U.S. employees decreased slightly in 2016 – as did the rate of nonfatal occupational injuries and illnesses requiring days away from work – according to data released Nov. 9 by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Reported nonfatal injuries and illnesses occurred at a rate of 2.9 cases per 100 full-time workers in 2016, compared with 3.0 in 2015 and 3.2 in 2014. The rate has fallen in all but one year since 2003. (The 2012 rate remained the same as in 2011.)

Approximately 2.9 million nonfatal injuries and illnesses were reported in 2016, about 48,500 fewer than in 2015, according to Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses estimates. That overall total includes 892,270 cases that resulted in days away from work. Although the DAFW number was “essentially unchanged” from 2015, a Nov. 9 press release from BLS states, the rate fell to 91.7 injury and illness cases per 10,000 full-time workers from 93.9 the year before.

The construction, manufacturing, wholesale trade and resale trade industries experienced “statistically significant” rate declines for reported nonfatal injuries and illnesses, BLS states. Although the finance and insurance industry was the lone sector to experience a rate increase, its rate of 0.6 cases per 100 full-time workers remained the lowest in the private sector.

Other 2016 data highlights:

  • The median DAFW needed to recover was eight, matching the figure from 2015.
  • The DAFW rate for workers in manufacturing fell to 94.9 cases per 10,000 full-time workers from 99.0 the year before. The total number of DAFW cases in manufacturing fell by 4 percent to 118,050.
  • Among the four industries that reported injury rate declines, only retail trade (122,390) and manufacturing (118,050) exceeded 100,000 DAFW cases.
  • Sprains, strains and tears accounted for 317,530 injuries and illnesses requiring DAFW, or about 36 percent of total cases.

The data release is the first of two annual reports from BLS. The second, scheduled for release in December, will highlight Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries findings.

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