Workplace injuries drop to lowest rate in four years

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The latest fatal and nonfatal injury figures
Nonfatal injuries and illnesses, private industry
Total recordable cases 4,085,400
in 2006
Cases involving days away from work 1,183,500
in 2006
Cases involving sprains, strains, tears 503,530
in 2005
Cases involving injuries to the back 270,890
in 2005
Cases involving falls 255,750
in 2005
Total fatalities (all sectors) 5,703
Total fatalities (private industry) 5,202
Highway incidents (private industry) 1,167
Falls (private industry) 771
Homicides (private industry) 441
Source: U.S. Department of Labor

Going to work just keeps getting safer.

The rate of U.S. workplace injuries and illnesses in private industry dropped last year for the fourth year in a row, according to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses reported by private employers dropped from 4.6 cases per 100 workers during 2005 to 4.4 cases during 2006.

The 2006 rate is the lowest ever recorded in the nation, the DOL said.

Manufacturing had among the largest decreases in the rate of illnesses last year, dropping from 66.1 per 10,000 workers during 2005 to 57.7.

“Workplace injuries and illnesses declined 3 percent in 2006 over the previous year against the backdrop that overall hours worked increased (2 percent),” said Labor Secretary Elaine Chao. “The Department of Labor continues to focus on ensuring that workplace injury and illnesses rates continue to decline and that workers are healthy and safe on the job.”