OSHA Reports Continued Decline in Occupational Injuries

December 16, 2014

OSHA released its annual report on occupational injuries earlier this month. The federal agency reported a little more than 3 million nonfatal injuries and illnesses were reported by private employers in 2013, that’s 3.3 incidents per 100 full time workers.

The Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses conducted by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics indicated the rate reported in 2013 mirrored the downward decline seen in the past 11 years (2012 was noted to be an exception).

Key findings of the report indicate:

  • The total recordable cases incidence rate of injury and illness reported by private industry employers declined in 2013 from a year earlier, as did the rate for cases of a more serious nature involving days away from work, job transfer or restriction.
  • The rate of reported injuries and illnesses declined significantly in 2013 among manufacturing, retail trade and utilities sectors but was statistically unchanged among all other private industry sectors compared to a year earlier.
  • Manufacturing continued a 16-year trend in 2013 as the only private industry sector in which the rate of job transfer or restriction only cases exceeded the rate of cases with days away from work. The rates for these two case types declined by 0.1 case in 2013 to 1.2 cases and 1.0 case per 100 full-time workers, respectively.
  • The incidence rate of injuries only among private industry workers declined to 3.1 cases per 100 full-time workers in 2013, down from 3.2 cases in 2012. In comparison, the incidence rate of illness cases was statistically unchanged in 2013.
  • The rate of injuries and illnesses among state and local government workers combined declined to 5.2 cases per 100 full-time workers in 2013 compared to 5.6 cases in 2012 and remains significantly higher than the private industry rate. The incidence rates among state government and local government workplaces individually also declined significantly in 2013, state government from 4.4 to 3.9 cases per 100 full-time workers and local government from 6.1 to 5.7 cases per 100 full-time workers.

Nearly 2.9 million (94.9 percent) of the more than 3.0 million nonfatal occupational injuries and illnesses in 2013 were injuries. Among injuries, over 2.1 million (75.5 percent) occurred in service-providing industries, which employed 82.4 percent of the private industry workforce. The remaining 0.7 million injuries (24.5 percent) occurred in goods-producing industries, which accounted for 17.6 percent of private industry employment in 2013.

Workplace illnesses accounted for 5.1 percent of the more than 3.0 million injury and illness cases in 2013. The rate of workplace illnesses in 2013 (16.6 cases per 10,000 full-time workers) was not statistically different from the 2012 incidence rate (17.3 cases). The TRC illness incidence rate for all other illnesses–a category including such illnesses as musculoskeletal disorders—decreased significantly from 11.0 cases per 10,000 workers in 2012 to 10.2 cases in 2013. Rates among the other individual illness categories were unchanged in 2013 compared to a year earlier.

Goods-producing industries accounted for 34.4 percent of all occupational illness cases in 2013, resulting in an incidence rate of 27.6 cases per 10,000 full-time workers–remaining statistically unchanged from 28.6 cases in 2012. Service-providing industries accounted for 65.6 percent of private industry illness cases and experienced a rate of 13.7 cases per 10,000 full-time workers in 2013-statistically unchanged from the prior year.

Source: BLS

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