Workplace injuries and illnesses drop to lowest rate on record
The Bureau of Labor Statistics announced that on-the-job injuries and illnesses in 1996 dropped to the lowest rate on record, with employers reporting a 5% decrease in the number of work-related cases.
Overall injury and illness rates dropped from 8.1/100 full-time workers in 1995 to 7.4/100 workers in 1996. The figure is the lowest rate since the BLS began recording the data in the early 1970s. It is the fourth consecutive year that the nation’s injury and illness rate has declined.
Of the 6.2 million nonfatal injuries and illnesses reported in 1996, 5.8 million of those cases resulted in lost work time, loss of consciousness, restricted work, or transfer to another job. Of the 439,000 new illness cases that were reported in 1996, 64% of those were related to repeated trauma disorders, such as carpal tunnel syndrome.
Labor Secretary Alexis M. Herman applauded the overall improvement in the rate, but said that “there is still work to be done.”
Nonfatal workplace injury and illness incidence rates, 1992-1996
Rate per 100 full-time workers (by industry)
1992 1993 1994 1995 1996
Construction 13 12 11.8 10.5 10
Manufacturing 12.5 12 12.2 11.6 10.5
Trade 8.7 8.2 8 7.6 6.7
Source: BLS Annual Survey of Workplace Injuries for 1996