Safety and OSHA News

Workplace nonfatal injuries and illnesses drop

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics says the number and rate of nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses declined from 2015 to 2016. 

BLS says 2.9 million nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses were reported by private industry employers in 2016, which occurred at a rate of 2.9 cases per 100 full-time equivalent (FTE) workers. That’s nearly 48,500 fewer cases in 2016 than in 2015. The 2015 rate was 3.0.

Some highlights from the report:

  • The 2016 rate of total recordable cases (TRC) fell 0.1 cases per 100 FTE workers. The TRC has fallen every year since 2004, with the exception of 2012.
  • Rates for days away from work, job transfer or restriction (DART), days away from work (DAFW) and days of job transfer or restriction only (DJTR) didn’t change.
  • Nearly a third of nonfatal injuries and illnesses were of a more serious nature that resulted in days away from work.
  • Four industries – construction, manufacturing, wholesale trade and retail trade – had statistically significant declines in the TRC rate in 2016.
  • The TRC rate was unchanged among 14 other private industry sectors.
  • The median days away from work – a key measure of severity of cases – was eight days in 2016, unchanged from 2015.
  • In manufacturing, the number of DAFW cases fell by 4,560 (4%) in 2016. The incidence rate was 94.9 cases per 10,000 FTE workers, down from 99.0 cases in 2015.
  • Workers in manufacturing who suffered injuries and illnesses that required days away from work required a median of nine days to return to work, which is unchanged from 2015.
  • Injuries and illnesses to production workers accounted for 64% of total DAFW cases in manufacturing in 2016.
  • In manufacturing, 19% of the DAFW cases were the result of falls, slips or trips in 2016, resulting in an incidence rate of 17.7 per 10,000 FTE workers, down from 19.0 cases in 2015.
  • Other leading exposures in manufacturing were contact with object or equipment (35.4 cases per 10,000 FTE workers) and overexertion and bodily reaction (34.1 cases). Both of these rates were unchanged from 2015.

In December, BLS will release data about fatal work injuries in 2016.

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