Workplace safety is moving in the right direction, according to employers and the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Based on an annual survey, BLS estimates that private industry employers had 45,800 fewer cases of nonfatal injuries and illnesses among full-time employees in 2017 as compared to the year before.
All measures – – including missed workdays, OSHA recordable incidents, injury-caused work restrictions – – have declined steadily this century. Employers had 2.8 total recordable cases per 100 workers, barely half the number reported in 2003. Importantly, all sectors surveyed showed a decrease, including manufacturing, construction, health care, transportation and warehousing. That means fewer days missed, fewer injuries, and fewer workers’ compensation claims.
The manufacturing sector had particularly good news, with median days away from work dropping to eight, a day fewer than in 2016. An area where manufacturers can focus is its leading cause of injury, sprains, strains and tears, which did not see a decrease in the past year.