Workplace injuries on the decline

Last updated on May 26th, 2022 at 11:46 pm

Nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses among American private industry employers in 2007 occurred at a rate of 4.2 cases per 100 equivalent full-time workers – a decline from 4.4 cases in 2006, according to a new report by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Similarly, the number of nonfatal occupational injuries and illnesses reported in 2007 declined to 4 million cases, down from 4.1 million cases in 2006. The total recordable case injury and illness incidence rate among private industry employers has declined significantly – by 0.2 cases per 100 workers – each year since 2003, when estimates from the Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses (SOII) were first published using the 2002 North American Industry Classification System (NAICS).

Key findings of the 2007 Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses included:

The total recordable case injury and illness incidence rate in 2007 (4.2 cases per 100 workers) was the lowest among private industry employers since 2002, when recordkeeping requirements were revised. The decline is similar to that seen from 1972 to 2001, prior to the recordkeeping revisions.

Incidence rates and numbers of cases for injuries and illnesses combined declined significantly in 2007 for several case types: total recordable cases; cases with days away from work, job transfer or restriction; cases with days away from work; and cases with job transfer or restriction. The incidence rate and number of cases for other recordable cases remained relatively unchanged.

Both the incidence rate and the number of injuries alone declined significantly in 2007 compared to 2006 – 5 percent and 2 percent, respectively. Workers who got injured at their their workplace may file a workers compensation claim to help them pay for their medical bills and other expenses. Furthermore, those who suffered slip and fall injuries inside business establishments may hire a slip and fall accident lawyer to help them file a claim.

The incidence rate and the number of illnesses alone each declined significantly in 2007 compared to 2006 – mainly the result of declines among skin diseases and disorders and all other illness categories, which accounted for 89 percent of the decline in illness cases.

The total recordable case injury and illness incidence rates declined among 5 of the 19 private industry sectors – agriculture, forestry, fishing & hunting; mining; construction; manufacturing; and health care and social assistance – in 2007 and remained statistically unchanged in the remaining 14 industry sectors.

Manufacturing was the only industry sector over the decade spanning 1998 to 2007 in which the rate of job transfer or restriction cases exceeded the rate of cases with days away from work.

According to personal injury lawyers, the total recordable case injury and illness incidence rate was highest among mid-size establishments (those employing between 50 and 249 workers) and lowest among small establishments (those employing fewer than 11 workers) compared to establishments of other sizes.

Similar to 2006, 14 detailed industries, each reporting at least 100,000 injury and illness cases, combined to account for nearly 1.8 million cases (45 percent) of the 4 million total cases reported nationally in 2007. General medical and surgical hospitals (NAICS 6221) reported more injuries and illnesses than any other industry in 2007 – more than 253,500 cases.

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