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October 31, 2016
Latest BLS figures show workplace injuries continue to decline

If you’ve been working to improve your safety and health management system, pat yourself on the back. Nationally, job injury rates are down. Keep reading for details on the latest data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), and find out which industry was the only one to see an increase in injuries.

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According to the BLS, there were approximately 2.9 million nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses reported by private employers in 2015. That translates to a rate of 3.0 cases per 100 full-time workers. BLS says there were 48,000 fewer injury and illness cases in 2015 compared to the prior year. The decline, combined with an increase in reported hours worked, represents a drop in incidence rate of 0.2 cases per 100 full-time workers. The job injury rate has declined for 12 of the past 13 years.

Six of the 19 private industry sectors experienced a decline. These were:

  • Mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction
  • Manufacturing
  • Transportation and warehousing
  • Finance and insurance
  • Health care and social assistance
  • Accommodation and food services

Wholesale trade was the only industry sector to experience an increase in the injury/illness rate in 2015, climbing from 2.9 to 3.1 cases.

Overall, the findings were good news for OSHA chief David Michaels, PhD, who credited “the relentless efforts of employers, unions, worker advocates, occupational safety and health professionals, and federal and state government agencies.” Michaels noted that, despite the improvement in rates, nearly three million private sector workers were affected. He called that “too many” and said OSHA will continue to do all it can to further drive down the rate.

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