Workplace Illnesses And Injury Rates For 2005 Lowest On Record

Highest injury and illness rates for manufacturing reported in transporation equipment, fabricated metal production and food industries.

The overall rate for workplace injury and illness rates in 2005 came in at the lowest on record, according to a report released Thursday by Department of Labor's (DOL) Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

The BLS "Workplace Injuries and Illnesses in 2005" report noted that workplace injuries and illnesses declined for the third consecutive year. Nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses declined from 2.8 cases per 100 workers in 2004 to 4.6 cases in 2005.

"Today's announcement that workplace injuries and illnesses in 2005 were at an all-time low is more good news for America's workers and reflects the department's effective worker health and safety strategy: compliance assistance; health and safety partnerships with labor, and  targeted, aggressive enforcement against bad actors," said Secretary of Labor Elaine L. Chao in a statement issued about the report.

"As encouraging as the report is, there is more to do and the department is working hard to make workplaces even safer and healthier for America's workers."

More than one in five injury and illnesses cases were reported in private industry, while almost two in five illnesses occurred in the manufacturing sector in 2005, although this industry accounted for only about 13 percent of private sector employment.

Although the incidence rate of injuries and illnesses for the manufacturing sector (6.3 cases per 100 workers) declined by 0.3 cases in 2005 compared to 2004, the rate remained significantly higher than that of overall private industry in 2005. 

Three manufacturing industries were among the 14 private sector industries reporting 100,000 or more cases in 2005.

Transportation equipment manufacturing (NAICS 336) with 146,800 cases, fabricated metal product manufacturing (NAICS 332) with 121,800 cases, and food manufacturing (NAICS 311) with 114,200 cases, accounted for nearly 43 percent of all cases reported in manufacturing, but only one-third of manufacturing employment in 2005. 

For these three industries, the injury and illness rate was significantly higher than that for the manufacturing sector as a whole. Only the rate for food manufacturing saw a significant change in 2005, falling by 0.5 cases to 7.7 cases per 100 full-time workers.

To view the report click here.

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