Bureau of Labor Statistics Manufacturing

Nonfatal injury and illness rate in private sector continues downward trend: BLS

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Washington — The nonfatal injury and illness rate for private-sector U.S. employees continued to decline in 2017, as did the rate of nonfatal injuries and illnesses requiring days away from work, according to annual data released Nov. 8 by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Reported nonfatal injuries and illnesses occurred at a rate of 2.8 cases per 100 full-time workers in 2017, compared with 2.9 in 2016 and 3.0 in 2015. The rate has fallen in all but one year since 2003, steadying at 3.4 in 2011 and 2012.

Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses estimates show that approximately 2.8 million nonfatal injuries and illnesses were reported in 2017 – about 48,500 fewer than the previous year. The overall total includes 882,730 cases that resulted in days away from work, a rate of 89.4 injury and illness cases per 10,000 full-time workers that fell from 91.7 in 2016 and 93.9 in 2015.

Two industries – manufacturing as well as finance and insurance – experienced “statistically significant” rate declines for reported nonfatal injuries and illnesses, BLS states, as both declined by 0.1 cases per 100 full-time workers.

Other findings:

  • The median days away from work needed to recover was eight, unchanged from 2016.
  • The DAFW rate in manufacturing was 93 cases per 10,000 full-time workers, matching the figure from the year before. The total number of DAFW cases in manufacturing was 115,550, essentially unchanged from 2016.
  • Three industries experienced DAFW case and rate declines – hospitals, administrative and support services, and social assistance. The DAFW rate in social assistance fell about 22 percent, to 88.4 cases per 10,000 full-time workers.
  • The DAFW rate for workers struck by objects or equipment dropped to 13.8 cases per 10,000 full-time workers from 14.5 in 2016; the total number of DAFW cases in this category fell by 4,180.

The data release is the first of two annual reports from BLS. The second, slated for Dec. 18, will highlight Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries findings.

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