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Economic News Release
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Employer-Reported Workplace Injuries and Illnesses, 2021

11/09/2022 News Release: Employer-Reported Workplace Injuries and Illnesses--2021

For release 10:00 a.m. (ET) Wednesday, November 9, 2022		USDL-22-2139

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 - 2021

Private industry employers reported 2.6 million nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses in 2021, a
decrease of 1.8 percent from 2020, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. In 2021, the
incidence rate of total recordable cases (TRC) in private industry was 2.7 cases per 100 full-time
equivalent (FTE) workers, unchanged from 2020. 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 illness cases, with private industry employers
reporting 365,200 nonfatal illnesses in 2021, down from 544,600 in 2020, a drop of 32.9 percent. This
decrease was driven by a 37.1 percent decrease in employer reported respiratory illness cases in 2021 at
269,600, down from 428,700 in 2020. (See chart 2.) In 2019, there were 127,200 illness cases and
10,800 respiratory illness cases. Total reported injury cases increased by 6.3 percent to 2.2 million cases
in 2021, up from 2.1 million cases in 2020. (See chart 1.)  

The rate of injury cases increased in 2021, with private industry employers reporting a rate of 2.3 cases
per 100 FTE workers compared to 2.2 cases in 2020. Over the same period, the rate of illness cases
decreased from 55.9 cases per 10,000 full-time equivalent (FTE) workers to 37.7 cases. The decrease
was driven by the drop in the respiratory illness rate, which fell from 44.0 cases per 10,000 FTE workers
to 27.8 cases. 

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

 _______________________________________________________________________________________________________
|                          Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic Impact in SOII Results                       |
| Occupational injuries and illnesses collected in the 2021 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).                                                              |
|_______________________________________________________________________________________________________|

 _______________________________________________________________________________________________________
|                                  Case and Demographic Data in the SOII                                |
| Estimates involving days away from work (DAFW) by detailed case characteristics and worker            |
| demographics for 2021 are not published in this release. In the Fall of 2023, SOII will begin biennal |
| publication for DAFW and days of job transfer or restriction (DJTR) for the period 2021-2022.         |
| Estimates for detailed industry by case type are unchanged.                                           |
|_______________________________________________________________________________________________________|

There were 1,062,700 nonfatal injuries and illnesses that caused a private industry worker to miss at
least one day of work in 2021, 9.7 percent lower than in 2020. The rate of cases that caused a worker to
miss at least one day of work also decreased in 2021, from 1.2 cases per 100 FTE workers in 2020 to 1.1
cases in 2021.

Injuries and illnesses by sector

Total recordable injury and illness cases increased in six private industry sectors in 2021. Retail trade
and transportation and warehousing had the largest increases in cases. Retail trade increased from
341,100 cases in 2020 to 404,700 cases in 2021. Transportation and warehousing increased from
206,900 cases in 2020 to 253,100 cases in 2021. Health care and social assistance was the only private
industry sector that had a decrease in the total number of cases in 2021, decreasing 183,200 cases to
623,000 in 2021. (See chart 3.) This was driven by a 163,600 decrease in the number of respiratory
illness cases in 2021, decreasing to 145,300 respiratory illness cases in this sector. In 2019, there were
3,500 respiratory illness cases in the private industry health care and social assistance sector.

(Chart 3 appears here in the printed release.)

Despite having a decrease in cases, the health care and social assistance sector had the highest rate of
respiratory illnesses in 2021 with 99.2 cases per 10,000 FTE workers. This rate, however, is 52.7 percent
lower than in 2020 when the rate was 209.8 cases per 10,000 FTE workers. Retail trade had the next
highest rate of respiratory illnesses at 37.5 cases per 10,000 FTE workers, a 91.0 percent increase from
2020 when the incidence rate was 19.6 cases. (See chart 4.) These two sectors accounted for 69.5
percent of the 269,600 total respiratory illness cases.

The incidence rate of respiratory illnesses in the private educational services sector increased from 5.5 
cases per 10,000 FTE workers in 2020 to 13.5 cases in 2021, a 144.9 percent increase. 

(Chart 4 appears here in the printed release.)

Health care and social assistance

Among health care and social assistance industries, three industries had decreases in DAFW rates in
2021: hospitals at 2.3 cases per 100 FTE workers in 2021 (down from 3.7 cases in 2020), nursing and
residential care facilities at 4.0 cases (down from 7.9 cases), and ambulatory health care services at 1.1
cases (down from 1.2 cases). In 2021, the DAFW rate for social assistance was essentially unchanged.
(See chart 5.)

(Chart 5 appears here in the printed release.)

Additional highlights

* The incidence rate of cases in the private retail trade sector increased from 3.1 in 2020 to 3.6
cases per 100 FTE workers in 2021, an increase of 15.6 percent.
* The DAFW rate in private industry food manufacturing decreased from 2.5 cases per 100 FTE
workers in 2020 to 2.1 cases in 2021, a decrease of 15.1 percent.
* In 2021, private industry DAFW cases in the transportation and warehousing sector increased
23.0 percent to 122,700 cases from 99,800 cases in 2020.
* The number of DJTR cases in the private construction sector increased 10.4 percent in 2021 to
35,200 cases.
* The private leisure and hospitality supersector had 235,300 total recordable cases in 2021, which
occurred at a rate of 2.9 cases per 100 FTE workers. This rate is higher than in 2020 (2.7 cases
per 100 FTE workers).
* Other recordable cases in the private industry wholesale trade sector increased 12.1 percent in
2021 to 40,400 cases.



Additional Information

This news release is the first of two releases from BLS covering occupational safety and health statistics
for the 2021 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. A second release on
December 16, 2022, 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.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/factsheets/effects-of-rounding-on-estimates.htm.

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. For additional
information on nonfatal injury and illness estimates, see www.bls.gov/iif/overview/soii-overview.htm
and www.bls.gov/opub/hom/soii/concepts.htm#north-american-industry-classification-system-naics.

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/coronavirus/standards.

All comparison statements 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 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.

If you are deaf, hard of hearing, or have a speech disability, please dial 7-1-1 to access
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Last Modified Date: November 09, 2022