The nonfatal injury and illness rate for private-sector workers in the U.S. fell once again in 2017, according to new annual data released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics on Nov. 8, 2018.
The nonfatal injury and illness rate stands at 2.8 cases per 100 full-time workers for 2017, compared to 2.9 in 2016 and 3.0 in 2015. Since 2003, this rate has decreased every year but 2012, according to Safety and Health Magazine.
Per the annual Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses, about 2.8 million non fatal injuries and illnesses were reported in 2017, about 45,800 fewer compared to 2016.
Nearly one-third of the nonfatal injuries – about 882,000 cases – resulted in workers missing days away from work (DAFW). The rate on these injuries fell from 91.7 per 10,000 full-time workers in 2016 to 89.4 in 2017. The median days away from work remained unchanged from 2016 at eight. This is a helpful metric in determining the severity of injuries.
Specifically, DAFW injuries involving overexertion in lifting or lowering rose by 3,250 cases, while struck by injuries decreased by 4,180 cases.
Nursing and residential care facilities had the highest nonfatal injury and illness incidence rate at 10.9 per 100 full-time equivalent workers. The rest of the top five:
- Motor home manufacturing – 10.3 incidence rate
- Skiing facilities – 10.2 incidence rate
- Veterinary services – 9.8 incidence rate
- Materials recovery facilities – 9.8 incidence rate
In the manufacturing sector, the overall injury rate decreased but the DAFW rate did not change from the previous year. More than 33 percent of of DAFW incidents in manufacturing were due to musculoskeletal disorders. The rate of these injuries fell from 32.9 cases per 10,000 full-time equivalent workers in 2016 to 31.4 cases in 2017.
Sprains, strains and tears were the leading type of injury in manufacturing.
Only two industry sectors – manufacturing as well as finance and insurance – saw a “statistically significant” change in overall injury rates.
The BLS is expected to release data covering fatal workplace injuries in December of this year.