Industry contributions to aggregate workplace injury and illness rate trends: 1992-2008

Aggregate workplace injury and illness rates have generally declined over the past quarter century. Assessing which industries contributed to these declines is hampered by industry coding changes that broke time series data. In the present study, ratios were estimated to convert older incidence rate data to current industry codes and to create long industry time series from data of the BLS Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses. These data were used to assess contributions to aggregate trends from within-industry incidence rate trends and across-industry hours shifts. Hours shifts toward safer industries do not explain aggregate incidence rate declines. Rather declines resulted from within-industry declines. The top 20 contributors out of 307 industries account for 40 percent of the decline and include both goods-producing and service-providing industries. The author concluded that these data help focus future research on industries responsible for rate declines and factors hypothesised as contributing to declines.

Author: Ruser JW. ;Full Source: American Journal of Industrial Medicine. 2014 Oct;57(10):1149-64. doi: 10.1002/ajim.22355. ;