BLS releases first look at employer-reported nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses

Estimates show 48,000 fewer cases in 2016

Posted November 10, 2017

The newly released Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) 2016 Employer-Reported Workplace Injuries and Illnesses reveals there were approximately 2.9 million nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses reported by private industry employers in 2016. The numbers translate to a rate of 2.9 cases per 100 full-time equivalent (FTE) workers.

Using estimates from OSHA’s Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses (SOII), the BLS says private industry employers reported nearly 48,000 fewer nonfatal injury and illness cases in 2016 compared to 2015.

The SOII covers counts and incidence rates of employer-reported nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses by industry and type of case, along with more detailed estimates of case circumstances and worker characteristics for cases that resulted in days away from work. The BLS plans to releases the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries in December.

Notable statistics from the report

  • The rate of total recordable cases (TRC) fell 0.1 cases per 100 FTE workers, continuing a pattern of declines that has occurred every year since 2004, except for 2012.
  • The rate of other recordable cases (ORC) declined by 0.1 cases. However, rates for days away from work, job transfer, or restriction (DART), days away from work (DAFW), and days of job transfer or restriction (DJTR) did not change from the past year.
  • Nearly one-third of nonfatal occupational injuries and illnesses were of a more serious nature and resulted in days away from work.
  • Finance and insurance was the only industry sector in which the TRC rate of injuries and illnesses increased in 2016. But the BLS points out the industry still has the lowest rate among all private industry sectors.
  • There were 892,270 occupational injuries and illnesses in 2016 that resulted in days away from work in private industry, essentially unchanged from the number reported for 2015. The private industry incidence rate for DAFW cases was 91.7 per 10,000 full-time equivalent (FTE) workers in 2016.
  • The median days away from work was 8 days in 2016, unchanged from 2015.

Statistics specific to the manufacturing sector

  • In manufacturing, the number of DAFW cases fell by 4,560 (4 percent) to 118,050 in 2016. This resulted in an incidence rate of 94.9 cases per 10,000 FTE workers in 2016, down from 99 cases in 2015.
  • Workers in manufacturing who sustained occupational injuries and illnesses resulting in days away from work in 2016 required a median of 9 days to return to work, unchanged from 2015.
  • Injuries and illnesses to production workers accounted for 64 percent (75,070 cases) of total DAFW cases in manufacturing in 2016, a decrease of 3,510 cases from 2015.
  • Injuries and illnesses to transportation and material moving workers accounted for 18 percent (21,100 cases) of the total DAFW cases in manufacturing, which was a decrease of 950 cases from 2015.
  • 19 percent (22,040) of the DAFW cases in manufacturing were the result of falls, slips, or trips in 2016, a decline of 1,470 cases from 2015 levels. This resulted in an incidence rate of 17.7 cases per 10,000 FTE workers in 2016, down from a rate of 19.0 cases in 2015.
  • Other leading events or exposures in manufacturing in 2016 included contact with object or equipment (35.4 cases per 10,000 FTE workers) and overexertion and bodily reaction (34.1 cases). Both rates were essentially unchanged from 2015.
  • The rate of sprains, strains, or tears (28.2 cases per 10,000 FTE workers); cuts, lacerations, or punctures (12.0 cases); soreness or pain (12.0 cases); and fractures (10.1 cases) were among the leading types of injury or illness cases resulting in days away from work in 2016.
    • Sprains, strains, or tears accounted for 30 percent (35,110) of the DAFW cases in manufacturing, a decrease of 2,480 cases from 2015. These cases occurred at a rate of 28.2 cases per 10,000 FTE workers in 2016, down from 30.3 cases in 2015.
    • Cuts, lacerations, or punctures accounted for 13 percent (14,960) of the DAFW cases in manufacturing, a decrease of 720 cases from 2015. This contributed to a decrease in the incidence rate in 2016 for cuts, lacerations, or punctures to 12.0 cases per 10,000 FTE workers, down from 12.7 cases in 2015.

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