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BLS: Nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses rose in 2022

Bureau of Labor Statistics

Washington — The number of reported workplace injuries and illnesses in the U.S. private sector increased in 2022, data released Nov. 8 by the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows.

Workers in private industry experienced an estimated 2.8 million nonfatal injuries and illnesses last year. That’s up from slightly more than 2.6 million in 2021. The 2022 total includes more than 2.3 million injuries and nearly 461,000 illnesses.

Nonfatal workplace injuries increased by more than 100,000 for the second year in a row. The 2.3 million injuries are fewer, however, than the roughly 2.7 million injuries reported in both 2019 and 2018.

The rate of nonfatal injuries remained steady at 2.3 per 100 full-time equivalent workers.

The number of illnesses recorded increased by nearly 100,000 from 2021, largely because of a rise in respiratory illnesses. Around 365,000 respiratory illnesses were reported in 2022, representing almost 80% of all workplace illnesses.

That’s up from nearly 270,000 respiratory illnesses in 2021. However, those numbers are both down from the nearly 429,000 respiratory illnesses reported in 2020 – the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.

By contrast, 10,800 workplace respiratory illnesses were recorded in 2019 and 12,100 in 2018.

Other 2022 data highlights:

  • Among industry groups, health care and social assistance had the highest number of recordable cases (665,300). Retail trade (422,700) and manufacturing (396,800) followed.
  • Transportation and warehousing had the highest rate of recordable cases at 4.8 per 100 FTE workers. Health care and social assistance (4.5) was No. 2, followed by arts, entertainment and recreation (4.2).

The data release is the first of two annual reports from BLS. The second, scheduled to be released Dec. 19, will highlight Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries findings.

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