Economic News Release

Nonfatal Occupational Injuries and Illnesses Requiring Days Away From Work, 2013


For release 10:00 a.m. (EST) Tuesday, December 16, 2014                                      USDL-14-2246

Technical information: (202) 691-6170  --  iifstaff@bls.gov  --  www.bls.gov/iif/oshcdnew.htm
Media contact: (202) 691-5902  --  PressOffice@bls.gov


                    NONFATAL OCCUPATIONAL INJURIES AND ILLNESSES REQUIRING DAYS AWAY FROM WORK, 2013


The overall incidence rate of nonfatal occupational injury and illness cases requiring days away from work to recuperate was 109.4 cases 
per 10,000 full-time workers in 2013, down from the 2012 rate of 111.8, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. In 2013, there 
were 1,162,210 days-away-from-work cases in private industry, state government, and local government, essentially the same number of 
reported injuries and illnesses as in 2012. The median days away from work to recuperate--a key measure of severity of injuries and 
illnesses--was 8 days in 2013, one fewer than reported in 2012. (See table 1.) 

Key Findings:

  *  The private sector rate for days-away-from-work cases was 99.9 cases per 10,000 full-time workers and was not statistically 
     different from 101.9 in 2012. (See table 1.) Despite no change in the private sector rate, the rate of falls on the same level 
     increased to 15.4 in 2013, up from 14.8 in 2012 with increases in construction (from 12.6 to 16.1); wholesale trade (from 9.9 
     to 11.4); and transportation and warehousing (from 22.9 to 28.3).
  
  *  Violence and other injuries by persons or animals accounted for 4 percent of the cases in the private sector in 2013, with a rate 
     of 4.2 cases per 10,000 full-time workers. In the health care and social assistance sector, 13 percent of the injuries and illnesses 
     were the result of violence and the rate increased for the second year in a row to 16.2 cases per 10,000 full-time workers, up 
     from 15.1 in 2012. (See table 1.)

  *  Incidence rates and counts for private sector heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers and food preparation workers each increased 
     in 2013. (See table 4.) The rate for truck drivers was 322.8 cases per 10,000 full-time workers (up from 279.6 in 2012)--and was more 
     than three times greater than the rate for all private sector workers. The incidence rate for food preparation workers was 317.3 cases 
     per 10,000 full-time workers, up from 289.5 in 2012.

  *  The incidence rate for local government protective service workers decreased to 451.3 per 10,000 full-time workers in 2013, down 
     from 480.4 in 2012 despite no statistical change in the overall local government incidence rate. (See table 3.) The incidence rate 
     for local government building and grounds cleaning and maintenance workers increased to 472.6--up from 438.0 in 2012. The rate of 
     days-away-from-work cases for state government workers was statistically unchanged in 2013 at 160.1 cases per 10,000 full-time 
     workers. 

  *  Musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) accounted for 33 percent of all injury and illness cases in 2013. Nursing assistants and laborers 
     and freight, stock, and material movers incurred the highest number of MSD cases in 2013. (See table 18.) MSD cases accounted for 
     53 percent of total cases that occurred to nursing assistants in 2013.


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                                             Workplace Injuries and Illnesses Data Error

  BLS identified data processing errors that impacted previously published national-level estimates from the 2011 and 2012 Survey of 
  Occupational Injuries and Illnesses. These estimates were corrected and republished in November 2014. More information on this data 
  correction can be found at www.bls.gov/bls/errata/iif_errata_1014.htm.
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Occupation and event or exposure

Private sector laborers and freight, stock, and material movers and heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers were among the occupations 
with the highest number of days-away-from-work cases reported in 2013, accounting for 6 percent and 5 percent, respectively, of all 
private sector cases in the U.S. (See table 4.) The incidence rate for laborers and freight, stock, and material movers decreased 
from 369.3 in 2012 to 289.5 cases per 10,000 full-time workers in 2013. (See chart A and table 4.) Heavy and tractor-trailer truck 
drivers required a median of 22 days away from work to recuperate from their injuries or illnesses, up from 19 days in 2012. Of the 
occupations with at least 30,000 cases, nursing assistants had the highest rate in 2013 at 373.2--which was a decrease from 388.2 in 
2012. 

The leading event or exposure for all private sector workers in 2013 was overexertion and bodily reaction accounting for 35 percent 
of all cases, despite a decrease in the rate to 35.1 cases per 10,000 full-time workers. (See chart B and tables 5 and 16.) For laborers 
and nursing assistants, overexertion and bodily reaction was also the leading event or exposure accounting for about 40 percent and 
55 percent of cases, respectively within each occupation. Heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers had an equal number of overexertion 
cases and falls, slips, or trips cases in 2013. Fifteen percent of the days-away-from-work cases for nursing assistants were the result 
of violence and other injuries by persons or animals. Less than 10 percent of the overall private sector days-away-from-work cases were 
the result of violence. (See chart B.)

(Chart A appears here in the .pdf version of this news release.)
Chart A. Days-away-from-work incidence rates for selected private sector occupations, 2011-2013

(Chart B appears here in the .pdf version of this news release.)
Chart B. Distribution of selected events or exposures for selected private sector occupations, 2013
 
For additional data on occupation, see tables 3, 4, 9, 11, 15, 16, and 18. For additional data on event or exposure, see tables 
1, 5, 14, 16, and 17. 



Musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) and industry

Musculoskeletal disorders (such as sprains or strains resulting from repetitive motion) for private sector, state government, and local 
government workers occurred at a rate of 35.8 days-away-from-work cases per 10,000 full-time workers in 2013--down from 37.4 in 2012. 
(See chart C and table 18.) Musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) accounted for 380,600 or one-third of all the days-away-from-work cases. 
Workers who sustained MSDs required a median of 11 days to recuperate before returning to work, compared with 8 days for all types of 
cases. 

The 2013 MSD rates per 10,000 full-time workers in state government (45.3) and local government (52.7) did not change statistically 
from 2012 rates. The MSD rates for state government and local government were each greater than the MSD rate for the private sector. 
(See chart C.) Private sector workers incurred MSDs at a rate of 33.5 cases per 10,000 full-time workers in 2013, down from 35.1 in 
2012. (See chart D and table 1.) Among goods-producing sectors, workers in the construction and agriculture, forestry, fishing and 
hunting sectors incurred the highest rates of MSDs with 41.9 and 41.5 cases per 10,000 full-time workers, respectively. Among 
service-providing sectors, the MSD rate for transportation and warehousing was 80.3 cases per 10,000 full-time workers--more than twice 
the MSD rate for all private industry sectors. (See chart D.)

(Chart C appears here in the .pdf version of this news release.)
Chart C. Musculoskeletal disorders incidence rates by ownership, 2011-2013

(Chart D appears here in the .pdf version of this news release.) 
Chart D. Musculoskeletal disorders incidence rates for selected private sector industries, 2013

For additional data on musculoskeletal disorders, see tables 1, 5, 12, 14, and 18.



Gender and nature of injury or illness

The 2013 nonfatal injury and illness incidence rates for men in private sector, state government, and local government (all ownerships) 
decreased to 119.2 cases per 10,000 full-time workers, down from 122.1 in 2012. (See table A and table 6.) The 2013 incidence rate 
for women was statistically unchanged at 97.0 compared to 98.8 in 2012. Injuries and illnesses to men accounted for 61 percent 
(705,100) of all cases and required a median of 10 days away from work--three days more than the median for women. (See table 6.) 

The two leading types of injuries or illnesses for both men and women were sprains, strains, tears and soreness, pain. (See chart E 
and table 14.) Men incurred sprains, strains, or tears at a greater rate than women with 42.5 cases per 10,000 full-time workers 
compared to a rate of 37.2 for women. Women had a higher incidence rate of bruises, contusions with an incidence rate of 
10.0 days-away-from-work cases per 10,000 full-time workers compared with a rate of 8.0 for men.


          Table A. Incidence rates for nonfatal occupational injuries and illnesses 
          involving days away from work by gender, all ownerships, 2009-2013

          ----------------------------------------------------------------------
                                   Incidence rates per 10,000 full-time workers
          ----------------------------------------------------------------------
              Gender                2009     2010     2011     2012     2013
          ----------------------------------------------------------------------
          
          Total all ownerships     117.2    117.9    116.4    111.8    109.4
          
              Men                  129.3    127.6    127.3    122.1    119.2
          
              Women                102.2    105.7    102.7     98.8     97.0
          ----------------------------------------------------------------------



(Chart E appears here in the .pdf version of this news release.) 
Chart E. Incidence rates of nonfatal occupational injuries and illnesses involving days away from work by gender by selected 
nature of injury or illness, all ownerships, 2013  

For additional data on men and women, see tables 6, 8, 10, and 14. For additional data on nature of injury or illness, see tables 
2, 5, 14, 15, and 17.


Age groups

Workers 45 to 54 had the highest number (293,870) of days-away-from-work cases in 2013, for all ownerships, with an incidence rate 
of 119.9 cases per 10,000 full-time workers. (See chart F and table 6.) The incidence rate for workers 65 and over increased while 
the rates decreased in 2013 for workers in age groups 20 to 24, 25 to 34, and 35 to 44. The rate for workers 65 and over increased 
in 2013 to 96.7 cases per 10,000 full-time workers, up from 89.8 in 2012. Workers 65 and over also had a greater number of median 
days away from work compared to younger workers--requiring a median of 14 days to recuperate before returning to work.


(Chart F appears here in the .pdf version of this news release.) 
Chart F. Incidence rate, number of cases, and median days away from work by age group, all ownerships, 2013


For additional information on age groups, see tables 6, 8, 10, and 14.


Race or ethnicity

There were 454,180 days-away-from-work cases reported among white workers, which accounted for 39 percent of all cases for all 
ownerships. (See table 7.) This was not significantly different from the number of cases reported for 2012. Hispanic or Latino workers 
accounted for 12 percent of the injuries and illnesses in 2013 and the number of cases did not change significantly from 2012. American 
Indian or Alaskan Native was the only race group with a statistically significant increase in cases in 2013, up 16 percent, but only 
accounted for 0.5 percent of total cases. Race or ethnicity were unreported in 39 percent of all cases.


For additional information on race or ethnicity, see tables 7, 8, and 10.


Notes

This release is the third in a series of releases from the BLS covering occupational safety and health statistics for 2013. The first 
release, in September 2014, covered work-related fatal injuries from the 2013 Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries. In early December 
2014, the Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses (SOII) reported counts and rates of injuries and illnesses by detailed industry 
and case type for 2013. Data in this third release are a subset of the SOII data and include additional detail about the case 
circumstances and worker characteristics for occupational injury and illness cases that required at least one day away from work to 
recuperate. While the data come from the same survey, they are reported at different levels of precision. For example, in this release, 
injury and illness incidence rates for days-away-from-work cases are reported as 109.4 cases per 10,000 full-time workers. However, the 
same incidence rate in the SOII annual summary news release is reported as 1.1 cases per 100 full-time workers. Data users are cautioned 
to take into account the different levels of precision when analyzing the data. Additional background and methodological information 
regarding the BLS occupational safety and health statistics program can be found in Chapter 9 of the BLS Handbook of Methods at 
www.bls.gov/opub/hom/pdf/homch9.pdf. 

This release does not present all the publishable estimates and rates for days-away-from-work cases. Additional detailed data are 
available from BLS staff at 202-691-6170, iifstaff@bls.gov, and the BLS Internet site at www.bls.gov/iif/home.htm. Information in 
this release is available to sensory-impaired individuals upon request. Voice phone: (202)-691-5200; Federal relay service: (800) 877-8339. 

Days of job transfer or restriction pilot study. 
In January of 2012, the BLS Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses (SOII) began to collect information on case circumstances and 
worker characteristics for days-of-job-transfer-or-restriction (DJTR) cases. The pilot includes six industries: specialty trade 
contractors; food manufacturing; building material and garden equipment supplies dealers; air transportation; warehousing and storage; 
and nursing and residential care facilities. The 2013 data from this study will be published in 2015.


Completeness of SOII

Several studies by outside researchers conducted in the mid-2000s questioned the completeness of BLS injury and illness estimates from 
the SOII. In response to these studies, the BLS began researching the issue internally in 2007 and, at the request of Congress, established 
an ongoing research program to explore potential undercounting of workplace injuries and illnesses. An initial round of research 
conducted between 2009 and 2012 determined that the SOII failed to capture some cases but could not determine the magnitude or leading 
cause of an undercount. Additional rounds of research include conducting interviews with employers on their injury and illness 
recordkeeping practices and exploring the feasibility of collecting occupational injury and illness data directly from employees 
(instead of from employers). Additional information about the research on the completeness of SOII estimates can be found at 
www.bls.gov/iif/undercount.htm.




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Last Modified Date: December 16, 2014
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