BLS: Injury and illness rate plateaus

October 24, 2012

Washington – For the first time in a decade, the nonfatal occupational injury and illness rate remains unchanged from the previous year, the Bureau of Labor Statistics announced (.pdf file) Oct. 25.

The total recordable case injury and illness rate for 2011 was 3.5 per 100 full-time workers, the same as 2010. Until this year, the rate had been declining every year since 2002. However, in private industry, although the rate of illnesses remained essentially unchanged, the injury rate declined slightly – to 3.3 from 3.4 in 2010. Among state and local government workers, the total recordable case rate remained unchanged at 5.7.

BLS also found:

  • Two private-industry sectors saw an increase in the rate of injuries and illnesses – agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting, and accommodation and food services.
  • Two private-industry sectors saw a declining rate – health care and social assistance, and retail trade.
  • The vast majority of injuries in the private industry (75 percent) occurred in service-providing industries.

For more details on the latest BLS figures, read the “State of Safety” article in the January 2013 issue of Safety+Health magazine.