U.S. Workplace Injuries Down 8% on Manufacturing Improvements


U.S. nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses fell about 8% last year, as manufacturers had the largest one-year percentage drop in such incidents in at least six years, the U.S. Labor Department's Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) said Thursday.

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Nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses affected 3.6% of full-time workers in 2009, down from 3.9% in 2008, the BLS said in its report. State and local government workers had the highest incidence of injuries and illnesses, and were about three times as likely to be hurt or sick as workers in the information and financial-services fields.

Declines in manufacturing-industry incidents helped pull the overall numbers down. Manufacturing illnesses and injuries dropped about 12% in 2009, to 4.3% of all full-time workers, the lowest figure since the BLS started keeping such statistics in 2003.

About 30% of injuries and illnesses across all industries forced the affected worker to miss work days, while about 25% caused the employee to either change jobs or be restricted from certain activities on the job, according to the BLS.