Workplace injuries and illnesses in private industry fell 4.5% in 2007, marking the sixth consecutive year nonfatal incidents have declined, the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics reported on Oct. 23.
Nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses reported by private industry employers dropped to 4.2 cases per 100 workers in 2007 from 4.4 cases per 100 workers the previous year.
"The 21% decline in the workplace injury and illness rate over the past six years and a 4.5% decline over the past year show the effectiveness of the strategy of targeted enforcement coupled with prevention through compliance assistance to promote a culture of safety at the workplace," said Secretary of Labor Elaine L. Chao.
Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Edwin Foulke Jr. attributes the decline to OSHA's "aggressive enforcement" of safety regulations.
"This report shows that employees are now safer in the workplace than ever before," Foulke said in a statement. "This success validates our efforts, and we are redoubling this commitment to make workplaces even safer."
OSHA conducted more than 39,000 inspections in 2007, finding nearly 89,000 violations of its standards and regulations.