Nonfatal Occupational Injuries and Illnesses Requiring Days Away From Work, 2014


For release 10:00 a.m. (EST) Thursday, November 19, 2015                                            USDL 15-2205

Technical information:	(202) 691-6170   *  iifstaff@bls.gov  *  www.bls.gov/iif/oshcdnew.htm
Media contact:	(202) 691-5902    PressOffice@bls.gov

         NONFATAL OCCUPATIONAL INJURIES AND ILLNESSES REQUIRING DAYS AWAY FROM WORK, 2014

The overall incidence rate of nonfatal occupational injury and illness cases requiring days away from 
work to recuperate was 107.1 cases per 10,000 full-time workers in 2014, down from the 2013 rate of 
109.4, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. In 2014, there were 1,157,410 days-away-from-
work cases in private industry, state government, and local government--essentially unchanged from the 
number of cases reported in 2013. The median days away from work to recuperate--a key measure of 
severity of injuries and illnesses--was 9 days in 2014, 1 day more than reported in 2013. (See table 1.)

In private industry in 2014, the number of days-away-from-work cases (916,440) and the incidence rate 
(97.8 cases per 10,000 full-time workers) was essentially unchanged from 2013. (See table 1.) 

*  The rate of falls on the same level in private industry increased to 16.6 in 2014, up from 15.4 in 2013. 
   In transportation and warehousing the rate of falls on the same level increased from 28.3 in 2013 to 
   30.4 in 2014--the second year in a row with an increase in this industry. Other industries where the 
   rate of falls on the same level increased in 2014 were wholesale trade, health care and social 
   assistance, and manufacturing. While the rate of falls on the same level in construction decreased in 
   2014, the rate was larger than the 2011 and 2012 rates. (See chart A and table 1.)


Chart A.  Days-away-from-work incidence rates for falls on the same level by selected private industries, 2011-14

(The chart is available in the print and .pdf version of this news release.)

 
*  Heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers and laborers and freight, stock, and material movers in the 
   private sector each had more than 50,000 injuries and illnesses in 2014 (each with 6 percent of total 
   injuries and illnesses). The incidence rate for heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers increased to 355.4 
   cases per 10,000 full-time workers in 2014, up from 322.8 in 2013. Laborers and freight, stock, and 
   material movers had a 4 percent increase in the number of injuries and illnesses with days away from 
   work in 2014. However, there was little change in the incidence rate of 284.5 in 2014 compared to 
   289.5 in 2013. (See table 4.)

*  Musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) accounted for 32 percent of all injury and illness cases in  
   2014 for all ownerships. The MSD incidence rate decreased to 33.8 cases per 10,000 full-time workers 
   in 2014, down from 35.8 cases. Nursing assistants and laborers and freight, stock, and material 
   movers incurred the highest number of MSD cases in 2014. (See table 16.) MSD cases accounted for 
   54 percent of total cases that occurred to nursing assistants in 2014.

*  Injuries and illnesses to women for all ownerships accounted for 39 percent of the total days-away-
   from-work cases in 2014. Compared with men, women had higher incidence rates and number of 
   cases associated with intentional violence by persons, falls on the same level, and repetitive motion. 
   (See chart B and table 12.) For women, the intentional violence by person incidence rate increased to 
   4.0 cases per 10,000 full-time workers in 2014, up from 3.8 in 2013.


Chart B.  Percent distribution of men and women workers for selected types of events or exposures, 2014

(The chart is available in the print and .pdf version of this news release.)
 

Occupation

There were six occupations in 2014, for all ownerships, where the incidence rate per 10,000 full-time 
workers was greater than 300 and the number of cases with days away from work was greater than 
10,000. These occupations were police and sheriff’s patrol officers, correctional officers and jailers, 
firefighters, nursing assistants, construction laborers, and heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers.  
(See table 4.)

Of these six occupations, heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers had the highest number of days-away-
from-work injuries and illnesses in 2014 with 55,710 cases (97 percent occurred in private industry) and 
an incidence rate of 365.5 cases per 10,000 full-time workers--up from 328.4 in 2013. For heavy and 
tractor-trailer truck drivers, the incidence rates increased for falls to lower level, falls on same level, and 
slips or trips without falls. Together, falls, slips, or trips accounted for 35 percent of the injuries and 
illnesses to heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers in 2014. (See table 14.)

Nursing assistants had an incidence rate of 372.5 in 2014, a decrease from 392.8 in 2013. Injuries and 
illnesses resulting from overexertion and bodily reaction accounted for 55 percent of the cases occurring 
to nursing assistants and decreased to 21,430 cases in 2014. The incidence rate for overexertion and 
bodily reaction for nursing assistants was 204.6--more than five times greater (35.6) than for all workers 
for this type of event or exposure. (See tables 4 and 14.)

State and local government
For all occupations, the incidence rate for public sector workers was 167.4 
cases per 10,000 full-time workers, compared to the rate of 97.8 for all private sector workers. Some 
public sector (state and local government combined) occupations experienced higher rates than the 
equivalent private sector occupations. Public sector janitors and cleaners had an incidence rate that was 
over twice that of private sector janitors and cleaners. (See chart C.) The rate for public sector landscaping 
and groundskeeping workers was 795.1 cases per 10,000 full-time workers, compared to 190.4 for private 
sector landscaping and groundskeeping workers.

Chart C.  Incidence rates of injuries and illnesses with days away from work for selected occupations with high 
case counts by ownership, 2014

(The chart is available in the print and .pdf version of this news release.)
 

In state government, there were 67,400 cases with days away from work in 2014 which was essentially 
unchanged from the number reported for 2013. The incidence rate was 170.3 cases per 10,000 full-time 
workers. State government workers required a median of 12 days away from work, up from a median of 
10 days in 2013. (See table 3.)

Correctional officers and jailers had 10,590 cases in 2014, the most injuries and illnesses in state 
government, with 16 percent of the total. The rate of 491.2 was essentially unchanged in 2014 compared 
to 2013. (See table 4.)

In local government, the number of cases was 173,570 and the incidence rate was 166.4 cases per 10,000 
full-time workers, both essentially unchanged from 2013. Workers in local government took a median of 
10 days away from work to recuperate from their occupational injuries and illnesses. (See table 3.)

Police and sheriff’s patrol officers had the highest number of cases with 24,230 in local government. (See 
table 4.) The incidence rate was 519.9 per 10,000 full-time workers, essentially unchanged from 2013.


Case characteristics and musculoskeletal disorders

The leading event or exposure resulting in occupational injuries or illnesses for all ownerships in 2014 
was overexertion and bodily reaction with 384,260 cases accounting for 33 percent of total cases. The 
2014 incidence rate for overexertion or bodily reaction was 35.6 cases per 10,000 full-time workers, down 
from 37.7 in 2013. (See table 5.)

Falls, slips, or trips accounted for an additional 27 percent of the total in 2014 with 316,650 days-away-
from-work cases. The incidence rate increased to 29.3 in 2014, up from 27.9 in 2013. 

The leading nature (type) of injury or illness in 2014 for all ownerships was sprains, strains, or tears with 
420,870 days-away-from-work cases. The rate was 38.9 cases per 10,000 full-time workers, down from a 
rate of 40.2 in 2013. Workers who sustained sprains, strains, or tears required a median of 10 days away 
from work compared to 9 days for all types of injuries or illnesses. (See table 5.)

Workers who sustained fractures required a median of 32 days to recuperate before returning to work. 
This was more than three times the number of days required for all types of injuries or illnesses.

Musculoskeletal disorders  
In 2014 for all workers, there were 365,580 cases of musculoskeletal disorders 
(MSDs), such as sprains or strains resulting from overexertion in lifting. The MSD incidence rate was 
33.8 cases per 10,000 full-time workers in 2014, down from 35.8 in 2013. Workers who sustained an 
MSD required a median of 13 days to recuperate before returning to work in 2014, compared to 9 days for 
all types of cases and up from 11 days in 2013. (See table 16.)

Industry

Three private sector industries had more than 100,000 days-away-from-work incidents in 2014: health 
care and social assistance (164,440), manufacturing (125,990), and retail trade (120,640). Of these three 
industries, retail trade was the only one to have a decrease in the incidence rate, to 104.5 in 2014 down 
from 112.8 in 2013. The number of cases in manufacturing increased 5 percent in 2014. The incidence 
rate in this industry was 103.1 cases in 2014, essentially unchanged from 100.9 reported for 2013. (See 
table 1.)

Transportation and warehousing had 95,040 occupational injuries and illnesses in 2014 resulting in an 
incidence rate of 225.2 per 10,000 full-time workers--the highest reported among private industries. 
Despite a 9 percent increase in the case count from 2013, the incidence rate was essentially unchanged 
from the rate reported for 2013. Musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) accounted for 40 percent of the cases 
in transportation and warehousing in 2014. The MSD rate increased to 89.9 cases per 10,000 full-time 
workers, up from 80.3 in 2013. (See chart D and table 1.)


Chart D.  Musculoskeletal disorder incidence rates for selected private sector industries, 2013-14

(The chart is available in the print and .pdf version of this news release.)
 

Health care and social assistance had a rate of 121.3 cases per 10,000 full-time workers, the highest 
among the private industry sectors with greater than 100,000 cases. Musculoskeletal disorders accounted 
for 39 percent of the total injuries and illnesses reported in this industry in 2014. The MSD incidence rate 
decreased to 46.9 cases, down from 50.2 in 2013. (See chart D.) The rate of violence and other injuries by 
persons or animal decreased to 14.4 cases per 10,000 full-time workers in 2014. The rate of injuries and 
illnesses from violence in this industry was more than three times greater than the violence rate for all 
private industries. (See table 1.)

There were 7,680 occupational injuries and illnesses in mining (including quarrying, and oil and gas 
extraction) in 2014 resulting in an incidence rate of 84.7--less than the overall private industry rate of 
97.8. Workers in the mining industry required a median of 31 days away from work to recuperate from 
injuries and illnesses, up from 24 days in 2013. This was more than three times the number of days 
required in all industries. (See table 1.)

Gender 

The nonfatal injury and illness incidence rate for men in private sector, state government, and local 
government (all ownerships) was 116.5 in 2014, down from 119.2 reported for 2013. (See table 6.) 
Injuries and illnesses to men accounted for 60 percent (699,470) of all cases and required a median of 10 
days away from work, 3 days more than the median for women. The 2014 nonfatal injury and illness 
incidence rates for women in all ownerships was 95.1 cases per 10,000 full-time workers.

The two leading types of injuries or illnesses for both men and women were sprains, strains, or tears, and 
soreness and pain. (See chart E and table 12.) Men incurred sprains, strains, or tears at a greater rate than 
women with 41.7 cases per 10,000 full-time workers compared to a rate of 35.8 for women. Women 
workers had a higher incidence rate than men for bruises, contusions with an incidence rate of 10.0 
compared with a rate of 8.3 for men.

Chart E.  Incidence rates of nonfatal occupational injuries and illnesses involving days away from work by gender 
and selected nature of injury or illness, all ownerships, 2014

(The chart is available in the print and .pdf version of this news release.)
  
For additional data on gender, see tables 6, 8, 9, and 12. For additional data on nature of injury or illness, 
see tables 2, 5, 12, 13, and 15.

Age groups

Workers in age group 45 to 54 had the highest number (286,490) of days-away-from-work cases in 2014, 
for all ownerships, with an incidence rate of 117.2 cases per 10,000 full-time workers. (See chart F and 
table 6.) The number of injuries and illnesses to workers in age group 55 to 64 increased to 201,740 cases 
in 2014. Despite the increase in the number of cases for age group 55 to 64, the incidence rate (116.3 
cases per 10,000 full-time workers) was essentially unchanged from the rate reported for 2013. Incidence 
rates decreased in 2014 for workers in age groups 25 to 34 and 35 to 44.

The median days away from work increased by 1 day in 2014 for workers in age groups 35 to 44, 45 to 
54, and 55 to 64. For workers in age group 65 and older, the median increased 3 days in 2014 to  
17 median days away from work to recuperate from occupational injuries and illnesses.

Chart F.  Incidence rate, number of cases, and median days away from work by age group, all ownerships, 2014
  
(The chart is available in the print and .pdf version of this news release.)
  
For additional information on age groups, see tables 6, 8, 9, and 12.

Race or ethnicity

There were 444,590 days-away-from-work cases reported among white workers, which accounted for  
38 percent of all cases for all ownerships. (See table 7.) This was essentially unchanged from the number 
of cases reported for 2013. Hispanic or Latino workers accounted for 12 percent of the injuries and 
illnesses in 2014 and the number of cases did not change significantly from 2012. Asian and Native 
Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander were the only groups with an increase in cases in 2014. The number of 
injuries and illnesses to Asian workers increased to 15,950 cases in 2014, up from 14,180 in 2013. The 
number of injuries and illnesses increased 27 percent for Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islanders to 3,860 
cases. Race or ethnicity were unreported in 40 percent of all cases.

For additional information on race or ethnicity, see tables 7, 8, and 9.

Notes

This release is the third in a series of releases from the BLS covering occupational safety and health 
statistics for 2014. The first release, in September 2015, covered work-related fatal injuries from the 2014 
Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries. In October 2015, the Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses 
(SOII) reported counts and rates of injuries and illnesses by detailed industry and case type for 2014. Data 
in this third release are a subset of the SOII data and include additional detail about the case 
circumstances and worker characteristics for occupational injury and illness cases that required at least 1 
day away from work to recuperate. While the data come from the same survey, they are reported at 
different levels of precision. For example, in this release, injury and illness incidence rates for days-away-
from-work cases are reported as 107.1 cases per 10,000 full-time workers. However, the same incidence 
rate in the SOII annual summary news release is reported as 1.1 cases per 100 full-time workers. Data 
users are cautioned to take into account the different levels of precision when analyzing the data. 
Additional background and methodological information regarding the BLS occupational safety and health 
statistics program can be found in Chapter 9 of the BLS Handbook of Methods at 
www.bls.gov/opub/hom/pdf/homch9.pdf.

In 2014, the SOII began using the 2012 North American Industry Classification System (NAICS). 
Comparison of SOII estimates for 2014 to prior years is not advised below the sector level due to this 
change. For additional detailed information regarding NAICS revisions, visit www.bls.gov/bls/naics.htm.

This release does not present all the publishable estimates and rates for days-away-from-work cases. 
Additional detailed data are available from BLS staff at (202) 691-6170, iifstaff@bls.gov, and the BLS 
website at www.bls.gov/iif/home.htm. Information in this release is available to sensory-impaired 
individuals upon request. Voice phone: (202) 691-5200; Federal relay service: (800) 877-8339.

Days of job transfer or restriction pilot study  
In January of 2012, the BLS Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses (SOII) began to collect information 
on case circumstances and worker characteristics for days-of-job-transfer-or-restriction (DJTR) cases. The 
pilot included six industries: specialty trade contractors; food manufacturing; building material and garden 
equipment supplies dealers; air transportation; warehousing and storage; and nursing and residential care 
facilities. The 2011-13 data from this study were published in August 2015 in BLS Report 1056:  
www.bls.gov/opub/reports/iif/a-pilot-study-of-job-transfer-or-work-restriction-cases-2011-2013.pdf. 

In January of 2015, the original six industries selected for the DJTR study were replaced with a new set of 
six industries. The new industries are beverage and tobacco product manufacturing; general merchandise 
stores; couriers and messengers; waste management and remediation services; hospitals; and 
accommodation. DJTR data for these industries will be released in 2016.

Completeness of SOII

BLS has long acknowledged that some conditions which often are difficult for employers to relate to the 
workplace are not adequately recognized and reported during a calendar year (for example, long-term 
latent illnesses) and are believed to be understated in SOII illness measures. Following several studies in 
the mid-2000s questioning the completeness of SOII injury and illness counts, BLS began internal 
research in 2007 and, at the request of Congress, established an ongoing research program. Initial research 
conducted between 2009 and 2012 found that the SOII failed to capture some cases but could not 
determine the magnitude or leading cause of an undercount. Researchers determined that the ability to 
match injury and illness data across different data sources was impacted by various factors, such as 
establishment type, the time of case filing, and the type of injury. BLS initiated additional research from 
2012 to 2014 that included interviews with employers in four states to learn more about their injury and 
illness recordkeeping practices and a multiple-year match of SOII data to workers' compensation records 
to analyze matching trends over time. BLS is currently funding a nationwide follow-back survey with 
SOII respondents to learn more about their recordkeeping practices and timing issues that may negatively 
affect injury and illness reporting to the SOII. BLS also continues to conduct exploratory research on the 
collection of occupational injury and illness data directly from employees. For more information on 
undercount research, please see www.bls.gov/iif/undercount.htm.






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Last Modified Date: July 01, 2016