Is the glass half empty or half full? The number of workplace nonfatal injuries and illnesses fell from 2016 to 2017 – but not by much.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) says 2.8 million nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses were reported by private industry employers in 2017 which is nearly 45,800 fewer compared to 2016. That’s a drop of 1.64 percent.
These injuries occurred at the rate of 2.8 cases per 100 full-time equivalent (FTE) workers in 2017, a slight drop from 2.9 in 2016. The rate has decreased every year since 2012 when it was 3.4. In 2003 the rate was 5.0.
Some highlights from the report:
- The rates for days away from work (DAFW), days of job transfer or restriction (DJTR) and other recordable cases (ORC) were unchanged from a year earlier.
- The DJTR case rate has stayed at 0.7 per 100 FTE workers since 2011.
- Nearly one-third of nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses resulted in days away from work.
- Of 19 industry sectors, only 2 – manufacturing and finance/insurance – experienced statistically significant changes in their over all rates of nonfatal injuries in 2017 – both declined 0.1 cases per 100 FTE workers compared to 2016.
- The median days away from work in manufacturing was eight, one day fewer than in 2016.
- Four occupation groups in manufacturing accounted for 67% of the DAFW cases in 2017: metal and plastic workers; material moving workers; assemblers and fabricators; and other production workers.
- The number of DAFW cases in manufacturing where the event or exposure was overexertion and bodily reaction fell from 2016 to 2017. The rate decreased from 32.7 cases from 34.1 cases per 10,000 FTE workers.
- Musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) accounted for 34% of the DAFW cases in manufacturing.
- Sprains, strains and tears was the leading type of injury in manufacturing.
- In hospitals, the 51,380 DAFW cases in 2017 resulted in an incidence rate of 129.8 cases per 10,000 FTE workers, down from 134.3 in 2016.
In December, BLS will provide a count of all fatal work injuries in the U.S. during 2017 compared to 2016.
Is the slight decrease in nonfatal injuries and illnesses something to celebrate? Or is it not enough? Let us know what you think in the comments.