Workplace injuries and illnesses declined in 2015

Lowest rate recorded by BLS since 2002

Posted November 1, 2016

Occupational injury and illness data released on 10/27/2016 by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) showed a significant drop in the rate of recordable workplace injuries and illnesses in 2015, continuing a pattern of decline that, apart from 2012, has occurred annually for the last 13 years.

There were approximately 2.9 million nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses in 2015, representing a decline of about 48,000 cases from 2014, despite an increase in total hours worked. The rate of cases recorded was 3.0 cases per 100 full-time workers — down from 3.2 in 2014. The rate is the lowest recorded since at least 2002, when OSHA recordkeeping requirements were modified.

Six of the 19 private industry sectors reported a decline in the rate of injuries and illnesses in 2015:

  1. Mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction;
  2. Manufacturing;
  3. Transportation and warehousing;
  4. Finance and insurance;
  5. Health care and social assistance; and
  6. Accommodation and food services.

The rate of injuries and illnesses remained highest among mid-size private industry establishments (employing 50 to 249 workers) and lowest among small establishments (employing fewer than 11 workers). Over half of the approximately 2.9 million private industry injury and illness cases reported in 2015 involved days away from work, job transfer, or restriction.

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