Although the manufacturing industry reported the highest risk of occupational injuries and illnesses among industries in 1997, the overall incidence rate in manufacturing declined from 13.2 cases per 100 full-time workers in 1976 to 10.3 cases in 1997.
For the most serious type of cases (those involving days away from work), the 1997 incidence rate in manufacturing was 2.4 cases per 100 workers, down 46 percent from 1976. For the least severe cases (those without lost workdays), the rate for manufacturing was 5.4 cases per 100 full-time workers, down 36 percent from 1976.
Those cases involving restricted work activity only (in between the most and least severe) were the only case type to show an increase in incidence from 1976 to 1997. However, the increase in such cases occurred across all industry divisions, not just in manufacturing.
These data are a product of the BLS Safety and Health Statistics Program program. Additional information is available from "Work-related Injuries, Illnesses, and Fatalities in Manufacturing and Construction" (PDF 53K), by Timothy Webster, Compensation and Working Conditions, Fall 1999.
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Working in manufacturing safer over the past two decades at https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/1999/oct/wk3/art01.htm (visited January 31, 2023).