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BLS: Occupational Injuries and Illness Requiring Days Away from Work Decrease in 2015

Monday, November 28, 2016

The overall rate of nonfatal occupational injuries and illnesses requiring days away from work – and the number of days to recover– decreased in 2015, according to data provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics on Nov. 10.

In 2015, the number of injury and illness cases resulting in days away from work per 10,000 full-time workers: 104.0 - a 2.9% decrease from 107.1 in 2014. For private industry, there was a drop of nearly 4 percent from the 2014 rate of 97.8 - the rate was 93.9 in 2015.

Considered a key measure of the severity of injuries and illnesses by BLS, the median number of days away from work to recover fell to 8 in 2015, from 9 in 2014.

Heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers; laborers and freight, stock, and material movers; and nursing assistants were among the occupations that had among the highest number of cases in 2015 resulting in days away from work.

However, drivers and nursing assitants both experienced a significant decrease in incidence rates in 2015. The rates among drivers fell nearly 16 percent to 298.7 cases per 10,000 full-time workers from 355.4 cases in 2014. Nursing assistants’ rates declined almost 7.3 percent to 327.8 in 2015 from 353.6 the previous year.

Other 2015 highlights from the data:

  • 1.15 million injuries resulting in days away from work occurred in 2015 – essentially unchanged from the 2014 total.
  • Overexertion and bodily reaction (376,190) resulted in 33 percent of total cases of occupational injuries or illnesses. The next most common event or exposure was slips, trips and falls (309,060), which accounted for 27 percent of total cases.
  • The rate of injuries and illnesses resulting from cuts, lacerations or punctures was 9.6 cases per 10,000 full-time workers, up from 8.8 cases in 2014.

This data release is the second in a series of three annual BLS reports. The third report, slated for release in December, will highlight Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries findings.

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