Private employers fare better than public sector in latest federal statistics
The Bureau of Labor Statistics' latest Workplace Injury and Illness Summary shows nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses among private industry employers declined in 2009 to a rate of 3.6 cases per 100 equivalent full-time workers. That's down from 3.9 cases in 2008. The actual number of nonfatal occupational injuries and illnesses was 3.3 million compared to 3.7 million in 2008.
In the public sector, there was also a decline from the previous year, but the rate was significantly higher than in the private sector. Among state and local government workers, the injury and illness rate was 5.8 cases per 100 workers, down from 6.3 cases. The report said most of those, four out of five, occurred among local government workers, with a rate of 6.3 cases per 100 workers compared to 4.6 cases in state government.
Among private sector employers, the BLS summary revealed:
- The highest rate of injury and illness occurred among midsize industry establishments; those employing 50 to 249 workers.
- The lowest rate of injury and illness occurred in small companies, employing fewer than 11 workers.
- Days-away-from-work cases were the only case type that did not see a significant decline for injuries and illnesses. The rate for those remained relatively unchanged from 2008.
- Slightly more than half the 3.3 million injury and illness cases were of a more serious nature that involved days away from work, job transfer, or restriction. These occurred at a rate of 1.8 cases per 100 workers.
- Manufacturing reported the largest decline in injuries and illnesses, dropping by 23 percent.
- Construction had a 22 percent decline.
- A decline among skin diseases led the drop in illness cases.
- Manufacturing was the only private industry sector in which the rate of job transfer or restriction cases exceeded the rate of cases with days away from work, continuing a 12-year trend.
Read more at the WorkersComp Forum homepage.
December 6, 2010
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