Bureau of Labor Statistics

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Current State of US Worker Health & Safety

work_fatalities_2007The entire NIOSH document can be found HERE

In 2008 more than 145 million people in the U.S. were employed in the civilian workforce. Every day, approximately 9,000 workers are injured on the job and 15 workers die from a fatal workplace injury. Work-related illness claims the lives of about another 135 workers and retirees daily. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (bls), 5,657 workers died from work-related injuries and more than 4 million nonfatal injuries and illnesses were reported in 2007. The economic impact of work-related injury and illness has been estimated to be $171 billion annually, the same as cancer or cardiovascular disease and much greater than the burden from hiv/aids or Alzheimer’s disease. In 2006 employers spent an estimated $87.6 billion on wage payments and medical care for workers hurt on the job.

Addressing workplace safety and health poses numerous challenges. First, the composition of the U.S. workforce is becoming increasingly diverse; it is becoming older, more racially and ethnically diverse, and more women are entering the workforce. These changes reflect the changing social and demographic characteristics of the country but also produce new safety and health issues. It has become clear that certain populations experience an increased burden of disease, disability, and death. These populations also frequently have less access to quality healthcare.

Moreover, U.S. workplaces are rapidly evolving, changing the way work is organized. Jobs in our economy continue to shift from manufacturing to services, with service-providing industries now employing about 80 percent of all workers. Longer hours, compressed work weeks, shift work, reduced job security, and part-time and temporary work are realities of the modern workplace and are increasingly affecting the health and well-being of workers and their families. In addition, new chemicals, materials, processes, and equipment with new potential occupational risks are being developed and marketed at an ever-accelerating pace.

The acute and long-term effects of work-related injury, illness, and death translate into tremendous economic and emotional costs to society. Data show that when interventions, such as safe work practices and engineering controls, are based on sound scientific research the burden of injury and illness is significantly reduced. Through its Research-to-Practice (r2p) initiative, niosh works closely with its partners to move research findings and technologies out of the Institute and into the workplace, and to promote the diffusion of products and information in an effort to protect workers and reduce cost to employers, workers, their families, and society as a whole.

Occupational Injuries Lower in 2008

occupational_injuryNonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses among private industry employers in 2008 occurred at a rate of 3.9 cases per 100 equivalent full-time workers, down from 4.2 cases in 2007, according a report by the Department of Labor’s the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

In 2008, there were 3.7 million nonfatal occupational injuries and illnesses reported, down from 4 million in 2007.

Slightly more than one-half of the 3.7 million private industry injury and illnesses cases reported nationally in 2008 were of a more serious nature that involved days away from work, job transfer, or restriction–commonly referred to as DART cases. These occurred at a rate of 2.0 cases per 100 workers, declining from 2.1 cases in 2007.

Approximately 3.5 million (94.9 percent) of the 3.7 million nonfatal occupational injuries and illnesses in 2008 were injuries.

Private industry employers reported 187,400 illness cases in 2008, down from 206,300 in 2007.

Source: HR.BLR.com

BLS Reissues 2007 Occupational Injuries & Illnesses Report

US Bureau of Labor StatisticsThe US Bureau of Labor Statistics has recently reissued the 2007 Report of Occupational Injuries & Illnesses Requiring Days Away from Work.

According to information provided by BLS,

This news release was reissued on March 31, 2009 to correct selected data within
the mining and railroad industries that were misclassified by BLS. Except for these
industries, the corrections resulted in minor changes for the category musculoskeletal
disorders (MSDs) and selected nature, event or exposure, and source
categories.

A copy of the corrected report is available HERE: BLS Statistics (466)