For the first time since 2012, there was no drop in the number of workplace injuries and illnesses year-to-year, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. There were 2.8 million nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses reported by private industry employers in 2018, completely unchanged from 2017, according to BLS estimates. Rates for days away from work cases also didn’t change from 2017 to 2018, with 900,380 injuries or illnesses causing workers to miss at least one day of work in 2018.

Increased Rates in Retail

Retail trade was the only private industry sector where the rate of total recordable cases saw an increase in 2018, increasing 4% to 409,900 cases, and the incidence rate going up from 3.3 cases to 3.5 cases per 100 full-time workers. Injuries resulting from contact with objects and equipment accounted for the majority of days away from work cases in retail, increasing 10% in 2018 to 38,940 cases. That’s an overall higher rate for retail workers than workers in other industries.

Slips, trips and falls came in second with 34,190 cases, an increase of 11% over 2017’s numbers.

Sprains, strains and tears were the most common injury reported in retail.

First Year with Hospital Visit Data

For the first time, estimates for medical treatment facility visits for injuries and illnesses resulting in days away from work were available. Out of the 900,380 days away from work cases, 37% resulted in a visit to a medical facility.

Of that 37%, 294,750 required a trip to the emergency room without a longer hospital stay, and 39,080 cases required in-patient hospitalization, with or without a trip to the ER. The median days away from work cases for 2018 was eight days, while days away from work for emergency room visits only was seven days. For in-patient hospitalization, the median was 41 days.

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About the Author

Jon Knight

Jon Knight leads the NASP Team’s media creation department. He has been involved with workplace safety training since 2017 with a focus on course creation. He also provides video production and voiceovers for NASP content.
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