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Economic News Release
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Employer-Reported Workplace Injuries and Illnesses, 2020

11/03/2021 News Release: Employer-Reported Workplace Injuries and Illnesses--2020

For release 10:00 a.m. (ET) Wednesday, November 3, 2021		USDL-21-1927

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

EMPLOYER-REPORTED WORKPLACE INJURIES AND ILLNESSES - 2020

Private industry employers reported 2.7 million nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses in 2020, down
from 2.8 million in 2019, a decrease of 5.7 percent, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. In
2020, the incidence rate of total recordable cases (TRC) in private industry was 2.7 cases per 100 full-
time equivalent (FTE) workers. These estimates are from the Survey of Occupational Injuries and
Illnesses (SOII).

The decline in injury and illness cases was due to a drop in injury cases, with private industry employers
reporting 2.1 million nonfatal injuries in 2020, down from 2.7 million in 2019. At the same time, total
reported illness cases more than quadrupled to 544,600 cases, up from 127,200 cases in 2019. (See chart
1.) This increase was driven by a nearly 4,000 percent increase in employer reported respiratory illness
cases in 2020 at 428,700, up from 10,800 in 2019. (See chart 2.)

The rate of injury cases also decreased in 2020, with private industry employers reporting a rate of 2.2
cases per 100 FTE workers compared to 2.6 cases in 2019. Over the same period, the rate of illness
cases increased from 12.4 cases per 10,000 full-time equivalent (FTE) workers to 55.9 cases. The
increase was driven by the rise in the respiratory illness rate, which rose from 1.1 cases per 10,000 FTE
workers to 44.0 cases.

(Charts 1 and 2 appear here in the printed release.)

There were 1,176,340 nonfatal injuries and illnesses that caused a private industry worker to miss at
least one day of work in 2020, 32.4 percent higher than in 2019. Of these cases, 33.2 percent (390,020
cases) were categorized as other diseases due to viruses not elsewhere classified, which includes
reported COVID-19-pandemic related illnesses. (See table 3.)

 _______________________________________________________________________________________________________
|                          Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic Impact in SOII Results                       |
| Occupational injuries and illnesses collected in the 2020 SOII include cases of COVID-19 when a       |
| worker was infected as a result of performing their work-related duties and met other recordkeeping   |
| criteria. COVID-19 is considered a respiratory illness under criteria established by the Occupational |
| Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). The SOII collects detailed case information, including       |
| nature, for incidences requiring at least one day away from work and codes these cases using the      |
| Occupational Injury and Illness Classification System (OIICS). While OIICS does not include a code    |
| specifically for COVID-19, applicable days away from work cases were included in the Nature code      |
| 3299 – “Other diseases due to viruses, not elsewhere classified.”                                     |
|_______________________________________________________________________________________________________|

Occupation

Ten occupations accounted for 38.3 percent of all private industry cases involving days away from work
(DAFW) in 2020. Of these, nursing assistants had the highest number of DAFW cases with 96,480, an
increase of 68,890 cases (249.7 percent) from 2019. In 2020, DAFW cases for registered nurses
increased by 58,590 cases (290.8 percent) to 78,740 cases. Heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers had
43,500 DAFW cases in 2020, a decrease of 4,490 cases (9.4 percent). DAFW cases for laborers and
freight, stock and material movers, hand were essentially unchanged in 2020. (See table 4.)

Included in the ten occupations mentioned above, nursing assistants, registered nurses, and licensed
practical and licensed vocational nurses had notable increases in their DAFW incidence rates in 2020.
Nursing assistants, specifically, had a DAFW incidence rate of 1,023.8 per 10,000 FTE workers in 2020,
an increase from 283.5 in 2019. The private industry rate for heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers
decreased from 280.0 per 10,000 FTE workers in 2019 to 259.7 in 2020. (See chart 3.)

(Chart 3 appears here in the printed release.)

In 2020, the median number of days away from work in all private industry occupations was 12 days, an
increase from 8 days in 2019. Nursing assistants also had a median number of 12 days, doubled from 6
days in 2019. Days away from work for registered nurses and licensed practical and licensed vocational
nurses increased in 2020 to 13 days and 12 days, respectively. The median days for heavy and tractor-
trailer truck drivers increased to 23 days in 2020 from 19 days in 2019.

Industry

Total injury and illness cases decreased or remained the same in all private industry sectors, except for
health care and social assistance, which increased 40.1 percent in 2020. (See table 3.) The health care
and social assistance sector had 806,200 private industry injury and illness cases in 2020, over half
(447,890) of which resulted in at least one day away from work. In 2019, this sector had 575,200 private
industry cases, with 151,410 resulting in at least one day away from work. The total incidence rate for
this sector was 5.5 cases per 100 FTE workers in 2020, compared to 3.8 per 100 FTE workers in 2019. 

Of the 390,020 private industry DAFW cases due to other diseases due to viruses, not elsewhere
classified, the health care and social assistance sector represented 288,890 (74.1 percent) of those cases.
(See table 3.)

Among health care and social assistance industries, three industries had increases in DAFW rates in
2020. The 2020 DAFW rates for nursing and residential care facilities, hospitals, and ambulatory health
care services were 791.7, 371.7, and 121.4 cases per 10,000 FTE workers, respectively. In 2019, these
rates were 170.9, 129.7, and 53.5 cases per 10,000 FTE workers. In 2020, the DAFW rate for social
assistance was essentially unchanged. (See chart 4.)

(Chart 4 appears here in the printed release.)

Additional Highlights

* DAFW cases for women in private industry increased 68.0 percent to 585,540 in 2020, from
348,600 in 2019. DAFW cases for men in private industry increased 7.8 percent to 577,990 in
2020, from 535,980 in 2019.
* Private industry workers age 65 years or over had a median of 14 days away from work due to
injuries and illnesses in 2020, compared to 16 days for this same group of workers in 2019. All
private industry workers had a median of 12 days away from work in 2020.
* The rate of total recordable cases of nonfatal injuries and illnesses in the private leisure,
entertainment, and hospitality industry decreased from 3.3 cases per 100 FTE workers in 2019 to
2.7 cases in 2020, driven by a drop in injury cases from 3.2 to 2.4 cases per 100 FTE workers.
* Both the total recordable cases and rate were down in the private retail trade industry in 2020:
the number of cases fell 13.8 percent to 341,100 cases, and the rate declined from 3.4 in 2019 to
3.1 cases per 100 FTE workers in 2020. At the same time, the DAFW case rate increased, rising
from 1.0 per 100 FTE workers in 2019 to 1.1 cases in 2020. (See tables 2 and 3.)

Additional Information

This news release is the first of two releases from BLS covering occupational safety and health statistics
for the 2020 calendar year. The SOII presents estimates of counts and incidence rates of employer
reported nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses by industry and type of case, as well as detailed
estimates of case circumstances and worker characteristics for cases that resulted in days away from
work. A second release on December 16, 2021, will provide results from the Census of Fatal
Occupational Injuries (CFOI) of all fatal work injuries occurring in the U.S. during the calendar year. 

Nonfatal occupational injury and illness estimates by industry and case type are available at
www.bls.gov/web/osh/summ1_00.htm and www.bls.gov/web/osh/summ2_00.htm. Tables including cross-
tabulations for various case circumstances and worker characteristics are available at
www.bls.gov/web/osh.supp.toc.htm.

Incidence rates and counts by industry and case type published by the Survey of Occupational Injuries
and Illnesses (SOII) are rounded. However, estimates, percent changes, and significant changes are
determined using unrounded data. www.bls.gov/iif/rounding-published-estimates.htm

Incidence rates for days away from work cases are published per 10,000 full-time employees. Incidence
rates per 10,000 workers can be converted to rates per 100 workers by moving the decimal point left,
two places, and rounding the resulting rate to the nearest tenth. Data users are cautioned to account for
different levels of precision when analyzing estimates presented in this release. 

BLS has generated estimates of nonfatal occupational injuries and illnesses for many industries as
defined in the 2017 North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) manual. Estimates of
nonfatal occupational injuries and illnesses have been generated for many occupations as defined in the
2018 Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) manual. For additional information on nonfatal injury
and illness estimates, see www.bls.gov/iif/soii-overview.htm. 

The Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses relies on OSHA recordkeeping requirements, which
mandate employers record certain work-related injuries and illnesses on their OSHA 300 log, including
the recording of cases of COVID-19. (See www.osha.gov/laws-regs/standardinterpretations/2020-05-19).
For cases resulting in days away from work, COVID-19 cases were coded in Nature code 3299 – “Other
diseases due to viruses, not elsewhere classified.” (See www.bls.gov/covid19/effects-of-covid-19-on-
workplace-injuries-and-illnesses-compensation-and-occupational-requirements.htm)

All statements of comparison made in this news release are statistically significant at the 95 percent
confidence level. Additional background and methodological information regarding the BLS
occupational safety and health statistics program is located in the BLS Handbook of Methods at
www.bls.gov/opub/hom/soii/home.htm. Additional data from the SOII are available on the BLS website at
www.bls.gov/iif, from BLS staff at (202) 691-6170, or by email at IIFSTAFF@bls.gov. Information in
this release is available to sensory impaired individuals upon request. Voice phone: (202) 691-5200;
Federal Relay Service: (800) 877- 8339.





Last Modified Date: November 03, 2021