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Injuries, Illnesses, and Fatalities
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Occupational Safety and Health Statistics Changes to NAICS and SOC: Questions and Answers

  1. Why are the occupational safety and health statistics changing classification systems to NAICS and SOC?
  2. How do the NAICS-SOC industry and occupational classifications differ from the prior classification systems?
  3. Will there be a transition period when the occupational safety and health statistics will be published using the old and new classification systems at the same time?
  4. What are the advantages of the NAICS and SOC classification schemes?
  5. How do I obtain more information on the BLS occupational safety and health statistics?
  6. Where can I obtain more information on NAICS and SOC?


  1. Why are the occupational safety and health statistics changing classification systems to NAICS and SOC?

    The United States adopted the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) and the Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) as the standard industrial and occupational classification systems to be used by all Federal statistical agencies to provide a means of comparing data across agencies. A U.S. Office of Management and Budget mandate requires all statistical agencies to make this change. In addition, NAICS is designed to provide comparability between statistical systems of the United States, Mexico, and Canada, the three partners in the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

  2. How do the NAICS-SOC industry and occupational classifications differ from the prior classification systems?

    The new industry and occupational classifications are designed to reflect the most recent industries and occupations in the economy. In some instances the titles may be the same as in the prior system but the estimates are not comparable because the NAICS or SOC definition is different.

  3. Will there be a transition period when the occupational safety and health statistics will be published using the old and new classification systems at the same time?

    No, there are no plans to publish data for both old and new industry and occupation classification systems concurrently.

  4. What are the advantages of the NAICS and SOC classification schemes?

    The advantages include:

    • NAICS and SOC ensure that economic statistics reflect our Nation’s changing economy. They include industries and occupations that reflect changes in information services, health care, and high-tech manufacturing areas.


    • In switching to NAICS and SOC, the occupational safety and health statistics will conform to the classification system that will be used uniformly by all statistical agencies and provide more detail than the current systems.


    • NAICS and SOC, developed in cooperation with Canada and Mexico, allows for comparisons across North America, a desirable feature of statistical data for economic analysis of the global economy.


    • NAICS and SOC classification offers data collectors and micro-data users greater coding flexibility than the prior classification systems. NAICS and SOC has a six digit hierarchical coding system compared to four-digit in the prior systems.


  5. How do I obtain more information on the BLS occupational safety and health statistics?

    Data are available on the Internet site http://www.bls.gov/iif/.
    Requests for data may be made to the following email and telephone contacts:

    Fatal Occupational Injuries: cfoistaff@bls.gov; 202-691-6175

    Occupational Injuries and Illnesses: oshstaff@bls.gov; 202-691-6179 (summary industry data); 202-691-6170 (case and demographic details)

  6. Where can I obtain more information on NAICS and SOC?

    Detailed information on NAICS and SOC, including background and definitions are available from the BLS website: http://www.bls.gov/bls/naics.htm and http://www.bls.gov/soc/.

 

Last Modified Date: September 10, 2004