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BLS releases data on employer-reported nonfatal workplace injuries, illnesses

Rate of total recordable cases continues to decline

Posted November 9, 2018

The newly released Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) 2017 Employer-Reported Workplace Injuries and Illnesses reveals there were approximately 2.8 million nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses reported by private industry employers in 2017. The numbers translate to a rate of 2.8 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 45,800 fewer nonfatal injury and illness cases in 2017 compared to 2016.

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 release 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 to continue a pattern of declines that occurred every year, except for 2012.
  • The rates for days away from work (DAFW), days of job transfer or restriction only (DJTR), and other recordable cases (ORC) did not change from 2016.
  • The rate for DJTR cases has remained at 0.7 cases per 100 FTE workers since 2011.
  • Nearly one-third of nonfatal occupational injuries and illnesses resulted in days away from work.
  • Manufacturing and finance and insurance were the only industry sectors that experienced statistically significant changes in their overall rates of nonfatal injuries and illnesses in 2017. Each declined by 0.1 cases per 100 FTE workers compared to 2016.
  • There were 882,730 occupational injuries and illnesses in 2017 that resulted in days away from work in private industry, essentially unchanged from 2016. The private industry incidence rate for DAFW cases was 89.4 cases per 10,000 full-time equivalent (FTE) workers in 2017.
  • The median days away from work was 8 in 2017, unchanged from 2016.

Statistics specific to the manufacturing sector

  • In manufacturing, the DAFW rate was unchanged from 2016 at 93 cases per 10,000 FTE workers.
  • The median days away from work in manufacturing was 8, one day fewer than in 2016.
  • Four occupation groups accounted for 67 percent of DAFW cases in 2017, including:
    • Other production workers (30,210 cases);
    • Metal and plastic workers (19,610 cases);
    • Material moving workers (15,260 cases); and
    • Assemblers and fabricators (12,140 cases). This was a decrease, down 900 DAFW cases from 2016.
  • Overexertion and bodily reaction (32.7 cases) experienced a decrease from 34.1 cases in 2016.
  • Musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) accounted for 34 percent of the DAFW cases and fell 1,930 cases to 38,950 in 2017. These cases occurred at a rate of 31.4 cases per 10,000 FTE workers in 2017, down from 32.9 cases in 2016. The median days away from work was 12, two days fewer than in 2016.
  • Sprains, strains, and tears was the leading type of injury in manufacturing at 34,110, unchanged from 2016. The rate of 27.5 cases per 10,000 FTE workers was also unchanged from 2016. The median days away for injuries from sprains, strains, and tears was 10, one day fewer than in 2016.

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