BLS Releases Data on Nonfatal Occupational Injuries and Illnesses

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) has released final data from 2011 on nonfatal on-the-job illnesses and injuries that required days away from work.

The rate of such injuries was 117 cases for every 10,000 full-time workers, which was statistically the same rate as 2010. The total number of cases with days spent away from work was 1,181,290, also statistically unchanged from 2010. This included all work injuries in state and local government and private industry.

The median number of days away from work was 8, a figure that is used to measure the severity of the work injury or illness.

Twenty percent of work injuries or illnesses requiring days away from work occurred in just five occupations: nursing aides and orderlies, laborers, janitors, police officers and truck drivers. The incidence rate for police officers was five times higher than the average for all occupations, and the rate for laborers was three times higher than the average.

Thirty-three percent of all cases were musculoskeletal disorders (MSD). Truck drivers who suffered MSD injuries were out of work for a median 21 days, compared to the average of 11 days out of work for all workers suffering from an MSD injury.

The preliminary count of fatal work injuries for 2011, according to the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries, was 4,609, a slight decrease from the count of 4,690 in 2010. Since 2006, fatal work injuries have decreased 21 percent.

Bob Briskman is a Chicago workers’ compensation attorney and Chicago workers compensation lawyer with Briskman Briskman & Greenberg. To learn more call 1.877.595.4878 or visit http://www.briskmanandbriskman.com/.

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