Injury Rates Down - Fatality Rates Up
Injury RatesIn 2004, injury cases occurred at a rate of 4.8 cases per 100 equivalent full-time workers. This was a decline from the rate of 5.0 cases per 100 equivalent full-time workers reported by BLS for 2003 and resulted from a 2.5 percent decrease in the number of cases reported combined with a 1.6 percent increase in the number of hours worked.
Injury rates are calculated using the following formula:
- IR = (N/EH) °- 200,000
- IR = Incidence Rate
- N = Total number of occupational injuries and illnesses
- EH = Total hours worked by all private industry employees during the calendar year
- (200,000 = Base for 100 equivalent full-time workers - 40 hours per and 50 weeks per year)
Goods-producing industries as a whole had an injury and illness rate of 6.5 cases per 100 equivalent full-time workers, while service providing industries as a whole had a rate of 4.2 cases per 100 equivalent full-time workers. Both of these rates declined by 0.2 cases per 100 equivalent full-time workers from the rates reported for 2003. Among the goods-producing industry sectors, incidence rates during 2004 ranged from 3.8 cases per 100 full-time workers in mining to 6.6 cases per 100 full-time workers in manufacturing. Within the service providing industry sectors, incidence rates ranged from 0.9 cases per 100 full-time workers in the finance and insurance sector to 7.3 cases per 100 full-time workers in transportation and warehousing. Among all private industry sectors, only the utilities sector experienced a significant increase in the injury and illness rate, rising from 4.4 cases per 100 equivalent full-time workers in 2003 to 5.2 cases in 2004.
Fatality RatesA total of 5,703 fatal work injuries were recorded in the United States in 2004, an increase of 2 percent from the revised total of 5,575 fatal work injuries reported for 2003.
Key findings of the 2004 Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries:
OSHA ActivityAccording to Jonathan Snare, OSHA's Acting Assistant Secretary, OSHA intends to continue their current level of enforcement activity. They exceeded their projected target of 37,700 inspections for FY 2004 by completing 39,167 inspections. OSHA has projected 37,700 inspections annually since 2003 and that number is not expected to change. Their mainstay for determining inspection priorities involves zeroing on the "right sites" based on conducting Site Specific Targeting (SST). This is a process of identifying individual employers in general industry and maritime with higher than average injury and illness rates. The data are gathered from OSHA injury information and surveys completed by employers in February of each year.
More information on injury and fatality rates can be found at the Bureau of Labor Statistics (link below).