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Serious injuries: How do your rates compare?

The most severe workplace injuries and illnesses - requiring time away from work - dropped 7.6 percent drop in 2001, with musculoskeletal injury and illness lost-workday cases falling 9.6 percent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

A total of 1.5 million injuries and illnesses in private industry required recuperation away from work beyond the day of the incident in 2001. The rate has steadily dropped since 1992, as have workplace injuries and illnesses in general.


  • Men accounted for 65.7 percent of total cases (1.5 million), which is higher than their share of the hours worked (58.7 percent).
  • Injuries and illnesses to workers aged 20 to 44 decreased, but still accounted for 65.0 percent of all injured workers while their share of hours worked was 62.9 percent.
  • Workers aged 14 to 15 were the only age group that showed an increase in the number of injury and illness cases from 2000 to 2001.
  • Hispanic workers showed a 3.2 percent increase in injuries and illnesses. Hispanic employment decreased in the agriculture, forestry and fishing industry by 12.6 percent, while their injuries and illnesses increased by 20.1 percent.

SIDEBAR 1 - What causes severe injuries. . .

1) Sprains, strains

2) Bruises, contusions

3) Cuts, lacerations

4) Fractures

5) Heat burns

6) Carpal tunnel syndrome

7) Tendonitis

8) Chemical burns

9) Amputations

10) Multiple traumatic injuries

Source: BLS

SIDEBAR 2 - What gets hurt. . .

1) Trunk

2) Back

3) Upper extremities

4) Lower extremities

5) Finger

6) Multiple parts

7) Knee

8) Head

9) Shoulder

10) Wrist

11) Hand (except finger)

12) Foot (except toe)

13) Eye

14) Neck

Source: BLS

SIDEBAR 3 - Who gets hurt. . .

1) Truck drivers

2) Nursing aides, orderlies

3) Laborers, nonconstruction

4) Construction laborers

5) Janitors and cleaners

6) Carpenters

7) Assemblers

8) Cooks

9) Stocks handlers and baggers

10) Registered nurses

Source: BLS

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