BLS releases new occupational injury and illness data

On November 9, 2011, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that in 2010, the rate of nonfatal occupational injury and illness incidents that resulted in time away from work was 118 cases per 10,000 full-time workers.

The number indicates that injuries and illnesses in 2010 were statistically unchanged from 2009, however the total number of private industry, state and local government cases dropped by 4 percent to roughly 1.19 million. The median number of days away from work was also unchanged at eight days per year.

Findings showed the incident rate for healthcare support workers increased 6 percent to 283 cases per 10,000 workers, a number Assistant Secretary of Labor David Michaels says is far too high.

"It is unacceptable that the workers who have dedicated their lives to caring for our loved ones when they are sick are the very same workers who face the highest risk of work-related injury and illness," he stated. "While workplace injuries, illnesses and fatalities take an enormous toll on this nation's economy – the toll on injured workers and their families is intolerable."

Employers and workers need to follow all OSHA standards for the use of safety products. By utilizing hard hats, work gloves, and other protective equipment, companies can help to lower the rate of injury and illness incidents.

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