Workplace Injuries Decline

Tuesday, November 14, 2017 @ 12:11 PM gHale


Workplace injuries and illnesses at private industry employers were down by 48,500 cases in 2016 compared to the previous year, officials said last week at the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

In addition, the injury rate per 100 full-time equivalent workers dropped from 3.0 to 2.9, marking the fourth straight year the rate has decreased.

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In addition, the 2016 rate of total recordable cases (TRC) fell 0.1 cases per 100 FTE workers to continue a pattern of declines that, apart from 2012, occurred annually since 2004.

Also, the rate of other recordable cases (ORC) declined by 0.1 cases, while rates for remaining case types — days away from work, job transfer or restriction (DART); days away from work (DAFW); and days of job transfer or restriction only (DJTR) — were unchanged from a year earlier.

The rate for DJTR cases remained at 0.7 cases per 100 FTE workers since 2011.

Four private industry sectors — construction, manufacturing, wholesale trade, and retail trade — experienced statistically significant declines in the TRC rate of occupational injuries and illnesses in 2016.

There were 892,270 occupational injuries and illnesses in 2016 that resulted in days away from work in private industry, essentially unchanged from the number reported for 2015. The private industry incidence rate for DAFW cases was 91.7 per 10,000 full-time equivalent (FTE) workers in 2016. The median days away from work —a key measure of the severity of cases — was 8 days in 2016, unchanged from 2015.

Of the four private industry sectors whose rates of total recordable cases declined in 2016 — construction, manufacturing, wholesale trade, and retail trade — only retail trade (122,390) and manufacturing (118,050) had more than 100,000 DAFW cases. Of these two industry sectors, only manufacturing had a decrease in both the count and incidence rate for DAFW cases in 2016.

In manufacturing, the number of DAFW cases fell by 4,560 (4 percent) to 118,050 in 2016. This resulted in an incidence rate of 94.9 cases per 10,000 FTE workers in 2016, down from 99.0 cases in 2015.

Workers in manufacturing who sustained occupational injuries and illnesses resulting in days away from work in 2016 required a median of 9 days to return to work, unchanged from 2015.

Injuries and illnesses to production workers accounted for 64 percent (75,070 cases) of total DAFW cases in manufacturing in 2016, a decrease of 3,510 cases from 2015.

Injuries and illnesses to transportation and material moving workers accounted for 18 percent (21,100 cases) of the total DAFW cases in manufacturing, which was a decrease of 950 cases from 2015.

In manufacturing, 19 percent (22,040) of the DAFW cases were the result of falls, slips, or trips in 2016, a decline of 1,470 cases from 2015 levels.

This resulted in an incidence rate of 17.7 cases per 10,000 FTE workers in 2016, down from a rate of 19.0 cases in 2015.

Other leading events or exposures in manufacturing in 2016 included contact with object or equipment (35.4 cases per 10,000 FTE workers) and overexertion and bodily reaction (34.1 cases).

Both rates were essentially unchanged from 2015.

In manufacturing, the rate of sprains, strains, or tears (28.2 cases per 10,000 FTE workers); cuts, lacerations, or punctures (12.0 cases); soreness or pain (12.0 cases); and fractures (10.1 cases) were among the leading types of injury or illness cases resulting in days away from work in 2016.

Sprains, strains, or tears accounted for 30 percent (35,110) of the DAFW cases in manufacturing, a decrease of 2,480 cases from 2015. These cases occurred at a rate of 28.2 cases per 10,000 FTE workers in 2016, down from 30.3 cases in 2015.

Cuts, lacerations, or punctures accounted for 13 percent (14,960) of the DAFW cases in manufacturing, a decrease of 720 cases from 2015. This contributed to a decrease in the incidence rate in 2016 for cuts, lacerations, or punctures to 12.0 cases per 10,000 FTE workers, down from 12.7 cases in 2015.

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