Magazine article Occupational Hazards

Lost-Days Injuries Rate Declined in 2005

Magazine article Occupational Hazards

Lost-Days Injuries Rate Declined in 2005

Article excerpt

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the rate of workplace injuries and illnesses that required recuperation away from work in 2005 declined by 4 percent.

Although the number of lost-days injuries and illnesses in 2005--1.2 million--remained relatively unchanged from 2004, according to BLS, a 2 percent increase in the number of hours worked in 2005 contributed to the decline in the rate.

According to BLS, there were 135.7 of these injuries and illnesses per 10,000 full-time equivalent workers in private industry. The agency notes that the lost-days rate declined in both the goods-producing (4.9 percent) and service-producing (3.4 percent) industries.

As in previous years, more than 4 out of 10 injuries and illnesses were sprains or strains, most involving overexertion or falls on the same level.

More than a third of the sprains and strains occurred in the trade, transportation and utilities industry. Three occupational sectors--laborers and freight movers; heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers; and nursing aides, orderlies and attendants--accounted for 20 percent of all strains and sprains.

Some other key findings:

* The incidence rate for carpal tunnel syndrome decreased by nearly 14 percent.

* The trunk--the part of the body most affected by work incidents--accounted for 35 percent of all cases. Overall injuries to the trunk decreased by 4 percent from 2004. Of these injuries or illnesses to the trunk, those involving the back accounted for 63 percent.

* Floors, walkways and ground surfaces accounted for 19 percent of all sources of injury or illness. …

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