Data recently released by the Bureau of Labour in the US reveals a ‘significant drop’ in the 2015 rate of recordable workplace injuries and illnesses - representing a continuing decline over the preceding 13 years with the exception of 2012.
Set against a backdrop of increased working hours, around 2.9 million non-fatal workplace injuries and illnesses were reported in private industries over 2015 - approximately 48,000 less than in 2014. This equates to a corresponding rate of 3.0 cases per 100 full-time workers –a reduction of 0.2 from the previous year and the lowest recorded since 2002 (the year OSHA record keeping requirements were modified).
A further estimated 752,600 injury and illness cases were reported in 2015 among the approximately 18.4 million state and local government workers - resulting in a rather higher rate of 5.1 cases per 100 full-time workers.
Assistant Secretary of Labour for Occupational Safety and Health, Dr. David Michaels issued the following statement:
"We are encouraged to see the significant decline in worker injury and illness rates. This is the result of the relentless efforts of employers, unions, worker advocates, occupational safety and health professionals, and federal and state government agencies ensuring that worker safety and health remains a top priority every day."
Brenig Moore, Technical Director at Astutis commented:
“While private sector injury and illness incident rates have moved in the right direction, the figures represented for local government are still a cause for concern, having remained static from the previous year, and almost 2% higher than that of the private sector. While factors including differences in the composition of industry employment may well influence individual state incidence rates, it will be interesting to see the figures in more detail when they are released in coming days.”
Statistics contained in this report are the first in a series of three that are to be released by BLS concerning occupational safety and health statistics for the 2015 calendar year.