BLS Releases Annual Workplace Injury and Illness Report (2010)
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released its annual report of workplace injuries and illnesses for 2010, on Thursday, October 20th. BLS findings show a steady decline in the number of accidents for US workers since 2002. In 2010, nearly 3.1 million nonfatal, recordable incidents were reported in the private sector. The industry incident rate has reduced from 3.6 to 3.5 out of every 100 full time workers from 2009 to 2010. The BLS found that total recordable incidence rates are highest among companies with 50 to 249 employees and lowest among small employers, fewer than 11 employees.
Within the incident rate, the total number of other recordable cases significantly lowered, while the number of cases with days away from work and job transfer/restriction (DART) cases stayed constant. These DART cases accounted for over half of the 3.1 million incidents in 2010 and occurred at a rate of 1.8 cases per 100 full time workers. Work related illnesses make up an extremely small portion of all recordable cases with 200,000 out of 3.1 million cases being classified as such.
Manufacturing was the only industry sector to have an increase in the Total Recordable Incidence Rate (TRIR) for 2010. The TRIR increased from 4.3 to 4.4 cases per 100 full-time US workers. This increase can mainly be attributed to the decline in hours worked being larger than the decline in incidents in the industry. The manufacturing industry accounted for over 30 percent of all private sector illnesses. With an incidence rate of 41.9 cases per 10,000 workers, manufacturing claims the highest rate of all sectors.
The public sector reported 820,300 recordable cases for state and local government workers in 2010, resulting in a significantly higher incident rate (5.7 cases per 100 workers) than the private sector. Nearly 80 percent of all injuries and illnesses reported in the public sector occur among local government workers, such as emergency response, educational, and health departments. Local government makes up the highest incident rate category with 6.1 out of every 100 workers injured.
The overall decline in injuries and illnesses not only allows for a safer working environment, but also helps employers avoid costs incurred by these injuries each year.