Injury Statistics

Injury, Illness Rate Down Again

By: | January 27, 2014

Nancy Grover is the president of NMG Consulting and the Editor of Workers' Compensation Report, a publication of our parent company, LRP Publications. She can be reached at [email protected]

“No private industry sector experienced an increase in the rate of injuries and illnesses in 2012,” according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Overall, the nearly 3 million nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses reported in private industry “continues the pattern of statistically significant declines that, with the exception of 2011, occurred annually for the last decade.”

The BLS’ report on employer-reported workplace injuries and illnesses shows an incidence rate of 3.4 cases per 100 equivalent full-time workers, down from 3.5 in 2011. For injuries only, the rate declined to 3.2 cases from 3.3 cases. There were more than 2.8 million nonfatal occupational injuries in 2012 with 2.1 million occurring in service-producing industries and the remainder in good-producing industries.


The incidence rate of illness cases was statistically unchanged. Nearly one-third — 29.5 percent — occurred in the manufacturing sector “resulting in one of the highest illness incidence rates among all industry sectors of 38.6 cases per 10,000 full-time workers in 2012 — down from 40.8 cases in 2011,” the report says.

Midsize private industry establishments — those with 50 to 249 workers — had the highest injury and illness incidence rate while companies with fewer than 11 workers had the lowest. Among the 42 states and the District of Columbia for which the estimates are available, the total recordable cases declined in eight states and D.C., rose in one state, and were statistically unchanged in 32 states. Estimates for Ohio for 2011 were not available for comparison.

Among state and local government workers, the injury/illness rate of 5.6 cases per 100 full-time workers was statistically unchanged from the previous year. Nearly 4 in 5 occurred among local government workers, resulting in an injury and illness rate of 6.1 cases per 100 full-time workers — “significantly higher than the 4.4 cases per 100 full-time workers in state government,” the report says.

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