MySafetySign Blog

Data shows successes, struggles in workplace injuries and fatalities

And now, a bit of good news for the holiday season: According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ (BLS) annual Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses, 2013 continued a downward trend in the number of workplace injuries. Employers reported about three million nonfatal injuries and illnesses, which resulted in an incidence rate of 3.3 cases per 100 full-time workers – down from 3.4 in 2012.

Dr. David Michaels, assistant secretary of labor for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), noted the decline is particularly encouraging, given that as the economy has rebounded, “we would expect the rate of injuries to rise.” In an issued statement, he attributed the decrease to the work of unions, employers and occupational safety organizations.

Interesting data points from the recently released report include:

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In September, the BLS released similarly encouraging numbers for 2013 workplace fatalities. According to preliminary results from the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries:

But the report also demonstrated disappointing challenges, including the highest number of workplace-related deaths among Hispanic and Latino workers since 2008, and an increase in fatalities among workers ages 25 to 34.

Starting in 2015, these reports could reveal new insights into workplace safety. Under new OSHA requirements, employers must report all in-patient hospitalizations, amputations and eye losses within 24 hours. Currently, employers are only required to report workplace fatalities and incidents involving the hospitalization of three or more employees.