Workplace injuries, illnesses drop again

by Bryan Salvage
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WASHINGTON ― The rate of workplace injuries and illnesses in private industry declined in 2006 for the fourth consecutive year, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (B.L.S.) reported. Non-fatal workplace injuries and illnesses declined from 4.6 cases per 100 workers in 2005 to 4.4 cases in 2006.

The manufacturing sector experienced significant lower rates of injuries and illnesses last year ― dropping from 66.1 in 2005 to 57.7 per 10,000 workers in 2006.

"Workplace injuries and illnesses declined 3% in 2006 over the previous year against the backdrop that overall hours worked increased (2%)," said Secretary of Labor Elaine L. Chao.

Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Edwin G. Foulke Jr. said, "The B.L.S. report ― showing the lowest rates since the Labor Department began collecting data in 1972 ― confirms that OSHA’s consistent emphasis on prevention is paying off with lower on-the-job injuries and illnesses. This report encourages us to continue our balanced strategy of fair and effective enforcement of standards, accident prevention education and cooperative programs with labor and industry."

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