Documenting nearly 3.1 million cases, the 2010 Workplace Injury and Illness Report was just released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The number of incidents works out to 3.5 workplace injuries or illnesses per every 100 workers. Peg Seminario, AGL-CIO Safety and Health Director, has this to say after the report’s release:
The survey shows a slight decline in the overall injury and illness rate reported for the private sector (3.5/100 compared to 3.6/100 for 2009). All of the decline was among “other recordable cases” – there was no decrease in Days Away, restricted Activity or Job transfer case rates. In the public sector (state and local government) reported rates declined to 5.7/100 from 5.8/100 in 2009, and like the private sector the decline was limited to “other recordable cases.
Given all the problems with underreporting of injuries, and potential impacts on injury reporting and rates due to the recession (fewer workers working in some of the more hazardous industries) it’s hard to draw much from the latest report other than there are still major problems that need to be addressed.
Taken from the report, these are the key findings from this year’s study:
-Incidence rates for injuries and illnesses combined among private industry establishments declined significantly in 2010 for total recordable cases and for other recordable cases. The incidence rates for cases with days away from work; for cases of job transfer and restriction; and for cases of days away from work, job transfer, or restriction together each remained unchanged from 2009. (See chart 1.)
-Manufacturing was the sole private industry sector to experience an increase in the incidence rate of injuries and illnesses in 2010—rising to 4.4 cases per 100 full-time workers from 4.3 cases the year earlier. The increased rate resulted from a larger decline in hours worked than the decline in the number of reported cases in the industry sector.
-The total recordable cases incidence rate in the private construction industry sector decreased by 0.3 cases to 4.0 cases per 100 full-time workers in 2010—a seven percent decline. Specialty trade contractors reported a similar decline of 0.3 cases in the injury and illness incidence rate—falling to 4.3 cases per 100 full-time workers—and was largely responsible for the reported decline in the construction industry sector.
-Health care and social assistance experienced an incidence rate of injuries and illnesses of 5.2 cases per 100 full-time workers—down from 5.4 cases in 2009—and was the lone industry sector in which both reported employment and hours worked increased in 2010.
-The incidence rate of injuries only among private industry workers remained unchanged between 2009 and 2010 at 3.4 cases per 100 full-time workers. (See table 5.)
-The incidence rate of illness cases alone remained relatively unchanged in 2010, as did rates among all illness categories with the exception of poisoning, whose rate increased from 0.2 cases per 10,000 full-time workers in 2009 to 0.3 cases in 2010. (See table 6a.)
-National public sector estimates covering more than 18.4 million state and local government workers are available for the third consecutive year with an incidence rate of 5.7 cases per 100 full-time workers in 2010, relatively unchanged from 2009.
Read the press release here.
Submitted by Patrick McQueen