This month the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) revealed that both work-related injuries and illnesses and work-related fatalities continued a downward trend in 2012, though the aggregate number of incidents remains stuck above 3 million per annum. The overall incidence rate was 3.4 cases per 100 full-time workers or their equivalents in 2012.

On the fatality front In 2012, 4,383 workers died from occupational-related injuries, a rate of 3.2 per 100,000 full-time workers, down from the 2011 rate of 3.5 per 100,000.

“Through collaborative education and outreach efforts and effective law enforcement, these numbers indicate that we are absolutely moving in the right direction,” remarked DOL Secretary Thomas E. Perez.

Details from the BLS:

  • The total recordable cases (TRC) incidence rate of injury and illness among private industry establishments declined in 2012 from a year earlier, as did the rate for other recordable cases not requiring time away from work. The rate for cases of a more serious nature involving days away from work, job transfer, or restriction–commonly referred to as DART–was unchanged in 2012, as a decline in the rate of cases involving days away from work was offset by the rate for cases involving job transfer or restriction only which was unchanged.
  • No private industry sector experienced an increase in the rate of injuries and illnesses in 2012.
  • Manufacturing was the only private industry sector in 2012 in which the rate of job transfer or restriction only cases exceeded the rate of cases with days away from work. This continues a 15-year trend. However, the rates for these two case types have been converging in recent years and differed by only 0.2 case in 2012.
  • The incidence rate of injuries only among private industry workers declined to 3.2 cases per 100 full-time workers in 2012–down from 3.3 cases in 2011. (See table 5.) In comparison, the incidence rate of illness cases was statistically unchanged in 2012.
  • The rate of injuries and illnesses among state and local government workers of 5.6 cases per 100 full-time workers in 2012 was statistically unchanged from 2011, but was still significantly higher than the private industry rate. The incidence rates for state government and local government individually also remained statistically unchanged in 2012–4.4 cases and 6.1 cases per 100 full- time workers, respectively.