Injuries and illnesses among private industry workers remained relatively unchanged in 2019 when compared to 2018 data, despite there being some changes in industry and occupation statistics.
Private industry employers reported 2.8 million nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses in 2019, which is unchanged from the 2018 data, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
Likewise, the incidence rate of total recordable cases remained the same as reported in 2018 and 2017 with 2.8 cases per 100 fulltime equivalent (FTE) workers.
The 2018 incidence rate of days away from work and days of job transfer and restriction cases – which was 0.9 cases and 0.7 cases per 100 FTE workers respectively – also remained the same in 2019.
A total of 888,220 nonfatal injuries and illnesses causing workers to miss at least one day of work were reported in 2019, “essentially unchanged from 2018,” according to a BLS news release.
Despite the lack of change in the overall numbers, there are a few significant changes for certain industries and occupations.
Fluctuations in manufacturing industry
The manufacturing industry, for example, was the only private industry sector where the total recordable case rate changed, with a decrease from 3.4 in 2018 to 3.3 cases per 100 FTE workers in 2019.
Several manufacturing groups saw decreases in total recordable case rates, such as motor vehicle body and trailer manufacturing at 6.3 cases per 100 FTE workers in 2019, down from 7.2 cases in 2018.
Spring and wire product manufacturing was the only manufacturing group with an increase in its rate, going from 3.9 cases in 2018 to 5.4 cases per 100 FTE workers in 2019.
Days away from work
The 2019 data show the same 10 occupations accounting for 33.2% of days away from work cases of all private industry as in 2018:
- nursing assistants
- heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers
- laborers and freight, stock and material movers, hand
- light truck drivers
- construction laborers
- maintenance and repair workers, general
- stockers and order fillers
- janitors and cleaners, except maids and housekeeping cleaners
- registered nurses, and
- retail salespersons.
Incidence rates involving days away from work for all 10 occupations increased in 2019, with laborers and freight, stock, and material movers, having the highest number of cases with 64,160, followed by heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers with 47,990.
There were also changes in the median number of days away from work, with heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers having a median number of 19 days, down from 23 days in 2018.
Light truck drivers saw an increase from 16 days in 2018 to 20 in 2019, and the median days for maintenance and repair workers, general; laborers and freight, stock, and material movers, hand increased to 12 days in 2019 from 10 days in 2018.
Other statistics worth noting include:
- Workers 65 years old and older had a median of 16 days away from work due to injuries and illnesses in 2019, while private industry workers in general saw a median of eight days.
- Workers with sprains, strains or tears resulting in days away from work visited medical treatment facilities at a lower rate than in 2018, with 6.5 cases per 10,000 FTE workers in 2019 compared to 7.3 the previous year.
- The days away from work incidence rate for men decreased from 94.3 cases in 2018 to 91.7 cases in 2019 while the rate for women decreased from 83.4 in 2018 to 80.4 cases per 10,000 FTE workers in 2019.