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Workplace injuries trend downward over last decade

November 14, 2013

Nearly 3.0 million nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses were reported by private industry employers in 2012, resulting in an incidence rate of 3.4 cases per 100 equivalent full-time workers. The rate reported for 2012 continues the pattern of statistically significant declines that, with the exception of 2011, occurred annually for the last decade.

Incidence rates(1) of nonfatal occupational injuries and illnesses, total recordable cases, selected industries, 2003–2012

All private industry

Natural resources and mining



Trade, transportation, and utilities

Education and health services

Leisure and hospitality


(1) Incidence rates represent the number of injuries and illnesses per 100 full-time workers.


No private industry sector experienced an increase in the rate of injuries and illnesses in 2012. From 2003 to 2012, the total recordable cases incidence rate in the construction industry declined from 6.8 to 3.7. Manufacturing industries experienced a similar decline in injuries and illnesses, falling from 6.8 in 2003 to 4.3 in 2012.

More than 2.8 million (94.8 percent) of the nearly 3.0 million nonfatal occupational injuries and illnesses in 2012 were injuries. Among injuries, 2.1 million (75.2 percent) occurred in service-providing industries, which employed 82.4 percent of the private industry workforce. The remaining 0.7 million injuries (24.8 percent) occurred in goods-producing industries, which accounted for 17.6 percent of private industry employment in 2012.

These data are from the Injuries, Illnesses, and Fatalities program. To learn more, see "Workplace Injuries and Illnesses — 2012" (HTML) (PDF), news release USDL‑13‑2119.


Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Workplace injuries trend downward over last decade at (visited June 17, 2024).

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