The Bureau of Labor Statistics has released its statistics for the year 2011 on nonfatal occupational injuries and illnesses requiring days away from work to recuperate. The numbers were largely statistically unchanged from the numbers for 2010. The rate remains 117 cases per every 10,000 full time workers. The total number of cases from all sectors, including private industry and state and local government workers remained at roughly 1,181,290. The median number of days away from work needed to recuperate also remained unchanged at eight.
One of the key findings of the report was that five occupations accounted for almost 20 percent of the cases. Those occupations were laborers, nursing aides and attendants, janitors and cleaners, heavy equipment and tractor-trailer truck drivers and law enforcement officers. The rate for laborers was three times as high as for all workers.
Those in the age group of 45-54 were the most at risk, representing twenty-six percent of the total number of 2011 cases. While the rate for this age group declined among workers in private industry, the number of injuries and illnesses for workers in the 55-64 age group increased six percent in manufacturing, with those aged 20-24 registering a thirteen percent increase in manufacturing related injuries.
Correlations were also found with regard to time on the job, with those with less experience on the job representing higher injury percentages.
Muscularskeletal injuries accounted for a third of all injury and illness cases.
While improvements have been made over the years with regard to on the job safety, clearly there is more work to be done to keep workers safe.