DOL releases 2011 occupational injury and illness data

In 2011, there were 1,181,290 nonfatal occupational injuries and illnesses in the U.S., according to recent data released by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL).

The ratio of nonfatal occurrences that required days away from work was 117 incidents per 10,000 full-time workers. In addition, the median number of days away from work was eight. These numbers were virtually unchanged from 2010.

Among different occupational categories, protective service jobs had the highest number of incidents, while transporting and moving materials saw the most days away from work, with a median of 13 missed workdays.

The DOL also found health support occupations had an incident rate twice as high as that of jobs in management, administrative support and other sectors. However, nurses and caregivers experienced less severe injuries than workers in farming, production and construction and took fewer days from work.

These statistics show the importance of worker safety training, personal protective equipment (PPE) and safe work habits. While many employees get injured on the job every day, it’s important for business owners to limit hazards and prevent dangerous situations to lower both workers’ compensation costs and the amount of time employees need to to heal.

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