The Bureau of Labor released their Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses for 2014 that showed there were almost 3 million work injuries in the private sector, a decrease of 54,000 cases from the 2013 report. There was not a significant change in the amount of cases that involved lost time or job restriction/transfer.
There were 3.2 workplace injuries per 100 workers in 2014 and the Bureau’s reports show that the rate of injuries has declined each year over the past 12 years, except for 2012 when the rate stayed consistent with 2011’s rate of 3.4 injuries per 100 full-time workers.
The amount of cases which involved days away from work, job restrictions, or job transfers (DART) stayed unchanged from 2013 with 1.7 cases per 100 workers, although that rate has been slowly declining over the years as well. Still, over half of the total reported workplace injuries in 2014 involved time away from work, transfers or restrictions. Manufacturing remained the only private industry whose rate of cases involving only job transfers or restrictions (DJTR) exceeded the cases only involving days out of work (DAFW). The health care and social assistance, retail trade, and food service and accommodation industries were the private arenas that saw a decrease in their injury and illness rates from 2013.
Of 41 states whose estimated private workforce injury rates were made available for this survey, 10 states saw a decrease in injury rates while the other reporting states estimated that their rate stayed fairly consistent with previous reports. The survey does suggest that if one wanted to compare injury rates between states, to factor in the type and scope of industries popular in each state as that can play a role in frequency and severity of injuries.
The public sector’s injury rate in 2014 was reported at 5 workers per 100 full-time state and local government workers, an estimated 722,300 total workplace injuries. More specifically, the injury rate in local government was 5.4 cases per 100 workers while state reported injury rates were lower at 4.1 cases per 100 workers.
In a statement, the Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health, Dr. David Michaels, called for greater efforts to protect workers from injury.
“Everyone benefits when there are fewer injuries and illnesses. OSHA is committed to continue increased efforts to ensure every employer is fulfilling its responsibility to protect the safety and health of its workers,” he said.