4 Key Things We Learned from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistic’s 25-Year Safety Report

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics recently released a report detailing 25 years of worker injury, illness, and fatality case data. The data now available from the BLS shows that workers overall are incurring fewer injuries and fatalities on the job, but that there is still work to do to make worksites safer. Here are 4 key things we took away from the report.

Safety – The Good

1) Injuries and illnesses resulting from overexertion and bodily reaction had significant declines from 1992 to 2016, dropping from over 1 million cases in 1992 to 300,000 in 2016. The same can be said for contact with objects or equipment, dropping from 638,000 cases in 1992 to 233,000 in 2016.

2) In 1992, there were 6,217 fatal occupational injuries. In 2016, there were 5,190. This is a decrease of approximately 17 percent over 25 years.

Safety – The Bad (Room for Improvement)

3) Older workers face a greater risk of being killed at work than workers as a whole. In 2016, the rate of fatal injury for all workers was 3.6 deaths per 100,000 full-time equivalent workers. For workers age 65 and older, that figure was 9.6. Deaths for workers age 55 and older increased 50 percent from 1992 to 2016. The increase in fatal occupational injuries to workers 55 and older was one of the major changes in CFOI data from 1992 to 2016. Workers 55 and older made up approximately 20 percent of injuries in 1992 and 36 percent in 2016.

4) Almost 15,000 foreign-born workers died from 2001 to 2016. Foreign-born workers consistently represented 16 to 20 percent of fatal occupational injuries since birthplace data were recorded starting in 2001. From 2001 to 2016, there were 14,562 fatal occupational injuries to foreign born workers and 68,665 fatal occupational injuries to native born workers.

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