Some interesting statistics from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: according to the agency’s annual report, the rate of nonfatal worker injury and illness stayed about the same between 2010 and 2011 at nearly 3 million such incidents nationwide. While it is good news that the number of job injuries did not go up last year, it was the first time in nearly a decade that injuries and illnesses did not go down.
The figures come from the Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses, an annual report released by the BLS. It measures on-the-job accidents and chronic injuries or illnesses caused by work that require private-sector employees to miss work or otherwise curtail their duties.
The vast majority — about 94.8 percent — of the reported claims were for injuries. Of the around 2.8 million injuries, a little over 75 percent occurred in the service industry and about 24.8 percent happened to industrial or manufacturing employees. It still appears that goods-producing jobs are more dangerous, since that 24.8 percent share is out of proportion to the percentage of private-sector manufacturing jobs in the U.S. economy, which is 17.5 percent.
Depending on the severity of the injury, a worker may have to take time off work to recover. In some cases, employees may be able to continue working, but in a different job or with their responsibilities restricted to accommodate their injury. About 1.1 incidents involved missed time out per 100 workers, and 0.8 cases per 100 workers resulted in a job transfer or reduced duties.
It is perhaps worrisome that the trend of fewer work injuries ended last year. The cause of this change remains to be seen.
Source: Claims Journal, “Occupational Injuries and Illnesses Rate Unchanged in 2011,” Oct. 30, 2012
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