Statistics show workplace injury and illness down

The rate of workplace injuries and illness in private industry in 2007 declined for the sixth consecutive year, according to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Nonfatal workplace injuries and illness in the private industry have declined 4.5 percent over the past year.

Over the past six years workplace injuries and illnesses have declined 21 percent. The shrinking statistic shows how effective targeted enforcement along with prevention methods, such as compliance assistance, have worked together to promote a culture focused on workplace safety, according to Secretary of Labor Elaine L. Chao in a press release.

"Today's injury and illness results demonstrate that OSHA's balanced approach to workplace safety encompassing education, training, information sharing, inspection, regulation and aggressive enforcement is achieving significant reductions in workplace injury and illness throughout the country.

This report shows that employees are now safer in the workplace than ever before. This success validates our efforts, and we are redoubling this commitment to make workplaces even safer," said Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Edwin G. Foulke Jr.

Key findings of the 2007 Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illness:

  • The total recordable case injury and illness incidence rate was highest among mid-size establishments (those employing between 50 and 249 workers) and lowest among small establishments (those employing fewer than 11 workers).
  • General medical and surgical hospitals (NAICS 6221) reported more injuries and illnesses than any other industry in 2007—more than 253,500 cases.
  • The total recordable case injury and illness incidence rates declined among 5 of the 19 private industry sectors—Agriculture, forestry, fishing & hunting; Mining; Construction; Manufacturing; and Health care and social assistance—in 2007 and remained statistically unchanged in the remaining 14 industry sectors.
  • Incidence rates and numbers of cases for injuries and illnesses combined declined significantly in 2007 for several case types: total recordable cases; cases with days away from work, job transfer or restriction; cases with days away from work; and cases with job transfer or restriction.
Read the full study at

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