Injury, Illness Rate in U.S. Lowest Ever in 2006

Declined from 4.6 cases per 100 workers in 2005 to 4.4 in 2006

The rate of workplace injuries and illnesses in private industry declined in 2006 for the fourth consecutive year, the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) said on Oct. 17. Nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses reported by private industry employers declined from 4.6 cases per 100 workers in 2005 to 4.4 cases in 2006.

Among the goods-producing sector of private industry, manufacturing experienced especially significant lower rates of illnesses last year -- dropping from 66.1 in 2005 to 57.7 per 10,000 workers in 2006.

"Workplace injuries and illnesses declined three percent in 2006 over the previous year against the backdrop that overall hours worked increased (two percent)," said Secretary of Labor Elaine L. 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."

OSHA conducted more than 38,000 inspections last year and found nearly 84,000 violations of its standards and regulations.

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