Recent injury and illness statistics provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) shows which workers may be more likely to be injured. A total of 888,220 nonfatal injuries and illnesses causing workers to miss at least one day of work were reported in 2019, “essentially unchanged from 2018,” according to a BLS news release.

Despite the lack of change in the overall numbers, there are a few significant changes for certain industries and occupations. The manufacturing industry, for example, was the only private industry sector where the total recordable case rate changed, with a decrease from 3.4 in 2018 to 3.3 cases per 100 FTE workers in 2019.

Fluctuations in Manufacturing

Several manufacturing groups saw decreases in total recordable case rates, such as motor vehicle body and trailer manufacturing at 6.3 cases per 100 FTE workers in 2019, down from 7.2 cases in 2018.

Spring and wire product manufacturing was the only manufacturing group with an increase in its rate, going from 3.9 cases in 2018 to 5.4 cases per 100 FTE workers in 2019.

Days Away from Work

The 2019 data show the same 10 occupations accounting for 33.2% of days away from work cases of all private industry as in 2018:

  • Nursing assistants
  • Heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers
  • Laborers and freight, stock and material movers, hand
  • Light truck drivers
  • Construction laborers
  • Maintenance and repair workers, general
  • Stockers and order fillers
  • Janitors and cleaners, except maids and housekeeping cleaners
  • Registered nurses, and
  • Retail salespersons.

Incidence rates involving days away from work for all 10 occupations increased in 2019, with laborers and freight, stock, and material movers, having the highest number of cases with 64,160, followed by heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers with 47,990.

There were also changes in the median number of days away from work, with heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers having a median number of 19 days, down from 23 days in 2018. Light truck drivers saw an increase from 16 days in 2018 to 20 in 2019, and the median days for maintenance and repair workers (general) and laborers and freight, stock and material movers (hand) increased to 12 days in 2019 from 10 days in 2018.

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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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