BLS: Fewer workplace injuries in 2013
Nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses continued their decline in 2013, with slightly more than three million reported by private industry throughout the year – or 3.3 cases per 100 full-time workers. The rate has decreased over the past 11 years with the exception of 2012.
Key findings of the annual Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses (SOII) released today by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics:
The total recordable cases (TRC) 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--commonly referred to as DART marking the first decline in the DART rate since 2009.
The rate of reported injuries and illnesses declined significantly in 2013 among the 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.
Injuries and illnesses by type of case
Over half of the more than 3.0 million private industry injury and illness cases reported in 2013 were of a more serious nature that involved days away from work, job transfer, or restriction (DART cases).
These cases occurred at a rate of 1.7 cases per 100 full-time workers, a statistically significant decrease from 2012. The rates for the two components of DART cases--cases involving days away from work and cases requiring job transfer or restriction--was unchanged at 1.0 and 0.7 case per 100 workers, respectively, in 2013. Other recordable cases--those not involving days away from work, job transfer, or restriction--accounted for the remaining 1.4 million injury and illness cases in 2013 and was unchanged at a rate of 1.6 cases per 100 full-time workers.
The TRC injury and illness incidence rate remained highest in 2013 among mid-size private industry establishments (those employing between 50 and 249 workers) and lowest among small establishments (those employing fewer than 11 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.
Private industry and public sector estimates are available for 41 participating states and for the District of Columbia for 2013. Data for establishments in the nine states for which individual estimates are unavailable are collected by BLS regional offices and used solely for the tabulation of national estimates. State estimates will be available online on Thursday, December 18, 2014; these estimates may also be requested prior to this date from the respective state offices. (See http://www.bls.gov/iif/oshstate.htm for state contacts.) Factors such as differences in the composition of industry employment may influence state incidences rates and should be considered whenever comparing rates among different states.