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June 2012, Vol. 135, No. 6
Industry shifts in hours and nonfatal work injuries and illnesses, 2003–2008
Alexander Measure is an economist in the Division of Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses, Office of Compensation and Working Conditions, Bureau of Labor Statistics. Email: measure.alex@bls. gov.
Data from the 2003-2008 Surveys of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses1 (SOII) indicate that the total recordable injury and illness rate in the private sector fell from 5.0 to 3.9 cases per 100 full-time workers. The exact reasons for this decline are unknown, but one contributing factor may be that safer industries are accounting for an increased share of hours worked. This report uses data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) SOII to examine the extent to which shifts in the share of hours worked across industries contributed to the decline. The analysis presented estimates the impact of these shifts on private sector injury and illness rates between 2003 and 2008.2
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1 The Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses is an annual survey of approximately 250,000 establishments that collects information about work-related injuries and illnesses recorded by employers following guidelines from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). For more information about the survey, see BLS Handbook of Methods, Chapter 9, "Occupational Safety and Health Statistics, Part II, Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses," http://www.bls.gov/opub/hom/homch9.htm#background_part2.
2 Data from 2003–2008 were used because that timespan is the most recent multiyear period during which the SOII employed a single industry classification system: the 2002 North American Industry Classification System (NAICS). (See North American Industry Classification System: United States, 2002 (Executive Office of the President, Office of Management and Budget, 2002).)
Injuries, Illnesses, and Fatalities
On guard against workplace hazards.—Feb. 2012.
Nonfatal injuries and illnesses in State and local government workplaces in 2008.—Feb. 2011.
Fatal occupational injuries at road construction sites, 2003–07.—Nov. 2010.
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