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Gelman: DOL Says Workplace Injuries Continue Downward Trend

By Jon. L. Gelman

Monday, November 13, 2017 | 507 | 0 | min read

The Department of Labor said Thursday that were approximately 2.9 million nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses reported by private industry employers in 2016, which occurred at a rate of 2.9 cases per 100 full-time equivalent (FTE) workers.

Jon L. Gelman

Jon L. Gelman

Private industry employers reported nearly 48,500 fewer nonfatal injury and illness cases in 2016 compared to a year earlier, according to estimates from the Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses (SOII).

There has been great controversy in the past as to whether this data has been accurately reported in that employers might not submit the data, and employees may be afraid to report accidents and injuries in the workplace because of the fear of employer retaliation. 

Recently, the Trump administration has taken steps to stall and eliminate the effectiveness of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

This news release is the first in a series of two from the Bureau of Labor Statistics covering occupational safety and health data for the 2016 calendar year. The SOII presents estimates of counts and incidence rates of employer-reported, nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses by industry and type of case, as well as more detailed estimates of case circumstances and worker characteristics for cases that resulted in days away from work.

A second release in December will provide data from the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI) of all deadly work injuries occurring in the U.S. during the calendar year. The CFOI uses diverse state, federal and independent data sources to identify, verify and describe fatal work injuries to ensure that counts are as complete and accurate as possible.

Claimants' attorney Jon L. Gelman is the author of "New Jersey Workers’ Compensation Law" and co-author of the national treatise "Modern Workers’ Compensation Law." He is based in Wayne, New Jersey. This blog post is republished with permission.

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