Nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses among private industry employers in 2007 occurred at a rate of 4.2 cases per 100 equivalent full-time workers — a decline from 4.4 cases in 2006, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) announced today.

Similarly, the number of nonfatal occupational injuries and illnesses reported in 2007 declined to 4 million cases, compared to 4.1 million cases in 2006.

The total recordable case injury and illness incidence rate among private industry employers has declined significantly — by 0.2 cases per 100 workers — each year since 2003, when estimates from the Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses (SOII) were first published using the 2002 North American Industry Classification System (NAICS), according to BLS.

The total recordable case injury and illness incidence rate in 2007 (4.2 cases per 100 workers) was the lowest among private industry employers since 2002, when recordkeeping requirements were revised. The decline is similar to that seen from 1972 to 2001, prior to the recordkeeping revisions.

Manufacturing was the only industry sector over the decade spanning 1998 to 2007 in which the rate of job transfer or restriction cases exceeded the rate of cases with days away from work.

One-half of the 4 million injury and illnesses cases reported nationally in 2007 were of a more serious nature that involved days away from work, job transfer, or restriction —commonly referred to as DART cases. These occurred at a rate of 2.1 cases per 100 workers, declining from 2.3 cases in 2006. The two components of DART cases both experienced declining rates in 2007 compared to 2006 — the rate of cases involving days away from work fell from 1.3 to 1.2 cases per 100 workers, while the rate for cases resulting in job transfer or restriction declined from 1.0 to 0.9 cases.