Occupational injury and illness data released yesterday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) showed a significant drop in the rate of recordable workplace injuries and illnesses in 2015, continuing a pattern of decline that, apart from 2012, has occurred annually for the last 13 years.
Private industry employers reported about 2.9 million nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses in 2015, representing a decline of about 48,000 from 2014, despite an increase in total hours worked. The rate of cases recorded was 3.0 cases per 100 full-time workers - down from 3.2 in 2014. The rate is the lowest recorded since at least 2002, when OSHA recordkeeping requirements were modified.
Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Dr. David Michaels was pleased with the report.
"We are encouraged to see the significant decline in worker injury and illness rates," said Michaels in a statement. "This is the result of the relentless efforts of employers, unions, worker advocates, occupational safety and health professionals, and federal and government agencies ensuring that worker safety and health remains a top priority every day."
"Despite the decline, approximately 2.9 million private sector workers suffered nonfatal injuries and illnesses last year. That is still far too many. At OSHA, we will continue to do all that we can to continue driving the rate down."