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Secretary of Labor reports decline in workplace injuries and illnesses

On October 20, 2011, The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) announced that workplace injuries and illnesses that occur in the private industry fell in 2010 to a rate of 3.5 cases per 100 full time workers.

The report marks a decline from the rate of 3.6 in 2009. The total number of workplace injuries and illnesses in 2010 was just below 3.1 million recordable cases, down from 3.3 million cases in 2009.

"We are encouraged by the reported decline in incidence rates for workplace injuries and illnesses, which is reflective of the joint effort of government, business, unions, and other organizations," Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis stated. "Nevertheless, 3.1 million injuries and illnesses in the workplace is too high. Workers should not have to sacrifice their health and safety to earn a paycheck."

Solis added that the country still has a long way to go in creating more secure manufacturing workplaces, which reported the highest injury and illness rates at 4.4 cases for every 100 workers.

Employers can help lower the number of workplace injuries and illnesses that occur every year by ensuring their employees are using appropriate safety products, including hard hats, work gloves, and fall protection systems.