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January 2013

Workplace safety and health profiles of occupations with green technology jobs

Aaron Parrott, William J. Wiatrowski

BLS data can measure injuries and illnesses within occupations that contain green jobs; among the 10 largest such occupations, laborers and hand movers of freight, stock, and material had both the highest count and rate of injuries and illnesses requiring days away from work The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) has approached the challenge of identifying green jobs from two perspectives: the output approach (which identifies establishments that produce green goods and services and counts the associated jobs) and the process approach (which identifies establishments that use environmentally friendly production processes and practices and counts the associated jobs). Data from these efforts provide information on "green" employment and wages by industry and occupation. Although there may be interest in the prevalence and types of workplace injuries, illnesses, and fatalities of workers with green jobs, the two BLS surveys that identify green jobs do not directly collect these details, and the BLS survey on workplace safety and health does not currently identify green jobs. However, BLS workplace safety and health data use the same industry and occupation classification systems used in the green jobs studies. Thus, we can examine industries or occupations that contain green jobs to determine the prevalence and details of workplace injuries for all jobs in those industries and occupations; the data cannot be separated, however, into green and nongreen jobs.

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