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Economic News Release
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Workplace Injury and Illness Summary

 News Release: Workplace injuries and illnesses--2008

//OSH AutoSuppl Updates 10/15/2020//
For release 10:00 a.m. (EDT) Thursday, October 29, 2009                                      USDL-09-1302

Technical information:	(202) 691-6170  *  iifstaff@bls.gov  *  www.bls.gov/iif/oshsum.htm	
Media contact:		(202) 691-5902  *  PressOffice@bls.gov


                          WORKPLACE INJURIES AND ILLNESSES--2008

(The HTML version of this news release was reissued on November 5, 2009, to correct errors in Table 7.  
Certain rows of that table contained data that were repeated from elsewhere in the table.  Table 7 was 
correct as initially posted in the PDF version of the Workplace Injuries and Illnesses -- 2008 news release.)

Nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses among private industry employers in 2008 occurred at a rate of 
3.9 cases per 100 equivalent full-time workers--a decline from 4.2 cases in 2007, the Bureau of Labor
Statistics reported today. Similarly, the number of nonfatal occupational injuries and illnesses reported 
in 2008 declined to 3.7 million cases, compared to 4 million cases in 2007. The total recordable case 
(TRC) injury and illness incidence rate among private industry employers has declined significantly 
each year since 2003, when estimates from the Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses (SOII) 
were first published using the 2002 North American Industry Classification System (NAICS). (See 
http://www.bls.gov/iif/oshsum.htm for links to news releases and tables for prior years.) 

National public sector estimates covering nearly 19 million State and local government workers--for 
example, Police protection and Fire protection--are available for the first time from the SOII for 
reference year 2008. (See table 1.) Nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses among State and local 
government workers combined occurred at a higher rate (6.3 cases per 100 full-time workers) than 
among private industry workers in 2008. 
      
Key findings of the 2008 Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses 

* Incidence rates for injuries and illnesses combined among private industry establishments declined 
  significantly in 2008 for all case types, with the exception of job transfer or restriction cases whose 
  rate remained unchanged from 2007. (See chart 1.) The number of cases of injuries and illnesses 
  combined declined significantly in 2008 for all case types.   
* For injuries only, both the incidence rate and the number of cases in private industry establishments 
  declined significantly in 2008 compared to 2007--each falling 8 percent from the year earlier.
* Looking at illnesses, both the incidence rate and the number of cases declined significantly in 2008 
  compared to 2007--mainly the result of a decline among the 'All other illnesses' category, which 
  accounted for nearly 84 percent of the decline in illness cases among private industry establishments. 
* Manufacturing was the only private industry sector in 2008 in which the rate of job transfer or 
  restriction cases exceeded the rate of cases with days away from work, continuing an 11 year trend. 
* The total recordable case injury and illness incidence rate was highest in 2008 among mid-size 
  private industry establishments (those employing between 50 and 249 workers) and lowest among 
  small establishments (those employing fewer than 11 workers) compared to establishments of other 
  sizes. (See table 3 and chart 2.) 

Slightly more than one-half of the 3.7 million private industry injury and illnesses cases reported 
nationally in 2008 were of a more serious nature that involved days away from work, job transfer, or 
restriction--commonly referred to as DART cases. (See table 2.) These occurred at a rate of 2.0 cases 
per 100 workers, declining from 2.1 cases in 2007. (See table 7.) Among the two components of DART 
cases, the rate of cases involving days away from work fell from 1.2 to 1.1 cases per 100 workers, while 
the rate for cases resulting in job transfer or restriction remained unchanged at 0.9 cases in 2008. Other 
recordable cases--those not involving days away from work, job transfer, or restriction--accounted for 
the remaining injury and illness cases nationally and occurred at a lower rate in 2008 (1.9 cases per 100 
workers) compared to 2007 (2.1 cases per 100 workers).  

Private Industry Injuries and Illnesses

Injuries. Approximately 3.5 million (94.9 percent) of the 3.7 million nonfatal occupational injuries and 
illnesses in 2008 were injuries--of which 2.5 million (71.2 percent) occurred in service-providing 
industries, which employed 80.1 percent of the private industry workforce covered by this survey. (See 
table 5.) The remaining 1.0 million injuries (28.8 percent) occurred in goods-producing industries, 
which accounted for 19.9 percent of private industry employment in 2008. 

Illnesses. Workplace illnesses accounted for slightly more than 5 percent of the 3.7 million injury and 
illness cases in 2008. (See table 6b.) Private industry employers reported 18,900 fewer illness cases in 
2008--down to 187,400 cases compared to 206,300 in 2007. This resulted in a decline in the rate of 
workplace illnesses in 2008 from 21.8 to 19.7 cases per 10,000 full-time workers. (See table 6a.)

Goods-producing industries as a whole accounted for approximately 38 percent of all occupational 
illness cases and were responsible for more than two-thirds of the decline in illnesses reported among 
private industry workplaces in 2008. Consequently, both the number and rate of illnesses declined 
significantly for goods-producing industries as a whole in 2008. The manufacturing sector accounted for 
31.5 percent of all occupational illnesses cases and reported 12,000 fewer illnesses in 2008 compared to 
2007. Both the number and rate of illness cases among service-providing industries as a whole remained 
statistically unchanged in 2008, compared to 2007. 

National Public Sector Estimates
      
National public sector estimates covering nearly 19 million State and local government workers--for 
example, Police protection (NAICS 922120) and Fire protection (NAICS 922160)--are available from 
the SOII for the first time for 2008. 

Nearly 940,000 injury and illness cases were reported among State and local government workers 
combined in 2008, resulting in a rate of 6.3 cases per 100 workers--significantly higher than the rate 
among private industry workers (3.9 cases per 100 workers). Approximately 4 in 5 injuries and illnesses 
reported in the public sector occurred among local government workers, resulting in an injury and illness 
rate of 7.0 cases per 100 workers--significantly higher than the 4.7 cases per 100 workers in State 
government. (See Chart 3.)      

In addition to the industry-level estimates available for the first time with this release, more detailed 
national public sector estimates will be available in the future covering case and worker demographics 
for cases that involved days away from work. 

State Estimates

Private and public sector estimates are available for 42 participating States individually for 2008, 
including 15 States for which public sector estimates covering State and local government workers were 
previously unavailable. (See table A.) Data for establishments in the 8 States for which individual 
estimates are unavailable are collected by BLS regional offices and used solely for the tabulation of 
national estimates. (See chart 4.) State estimates will be available online 10 business days following the 
release of national estimates; these data may also be requested prior to this from respective State offices. 
(See http://www.bls.gov/iif/oshstate.htm for State contacts.)

Table A. States adding public sector estimates beginning with 2008
 _______________________________________________________________________
| Alabama	| Arkansas	| Delaware	| District of Columbia  |
|_______________|_______________|_______________|_______________________|
| Florida	| Georgia	| Kansas	| Louisiana		|
|_______________|_______________|_______________|_______________________|
| Massachusetts	| Missouri	| Montana	| Nebraska		|
|_______________|_______________|_______________|_______________________|
| Texas		| West Virginia	| Wyoming	|
|_______________|_______________|_______________|
 
As compared to a year earlier, private industry TRC incidence rates among the 42 States (including the 
District of Columbia) for which estimates were available in 2008 declined in 22 States and remained 
relatively unchanged in the remaining 20 States.   

The private industry TRC incidence rate was higher in 22 States than the national rate of 3.9 cases per 
100 full-time workers in 2008, lower than the national rate in 14 States, and not statistically different 
from the national rate in 6 States. Differences in industry mix account for at least some of the 
differences in rates across States. 
      
Publication Tables and Supplemental Charts

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) has generated estimates of injuries and illnesses for many of the  
2-, 3-, 4-, 5-, and 6-digit industries as defined in the 2002 North American Industry Classification 
System manual. A complete listing of these estimates is not available in this release. However, summary 
tables 1 and 2 providing incidence rates and counts by detailed industry, case type, and ownership (e.g., 
total recordable cases or cases with days away from work in private industry), respectively, may be 
accessed electronically from http://www.bls.gov/iif/oshsum.htm or requested from BLS staff at 202-
691-6170 or by email at IIFSTAFF@bls.gov. Supplemental tables and charts illustrating trends among 
incidence rates and counts are also available from these sources. 

Background of the Survey

Second in a series of three releases from the BLS covering occupational safety and health statistics for 
2008, this release follows the August report on workplace fatalities from the Census of Fatal 
Occupational Injuries. A third release in November 2009 will provide case and demographic details 
from the SOII for private industry cases requiring at least one day away from work to recuperate. 
Additional background and methodological information regarding the BLS occupational safety and 
health program, including information such as changes in the definition of recordable cases due to 
revised recordkeeping requirements and the inherent underreporting of illnesses, can be found in 
Chapter 9 of the BLS Handbook of Methods at http://www.bls.gov/opub/hom/pdf/homch9.pdf. 

(Chart 1 appears here in the printed release.)

(Chart 2 appears here in the printed release.)

(Chart 3 appears here in the printed release.)

(Chart 4 appears here in the printed release.)

The PDF version of the news release

Supplemental Files Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Last Modified Date: October 15, 2020