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Workplace injuries, illnesses increase, new data shows

Although workplace injuries remain below pre-pandemic levels, there has been a massive increase in work-related illness, data shows.
Workplace injuries, illnesses increase, new data shows
Posted at 2:16 PM, Nov 08, 2023

Nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses increased by 7.5% in 2022 compared to 2021, according to data released Wednesday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. 

The data showed a 4.5% increase in injuries at work, and a pronounced 26.1% jump in workplace-related illnesses last year compared to 2021. 

Overall, there has been a massive increase in occupational illnesses since 2019, while workplace injuries still remain slightly below pre-pandemic levels.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported there were 2.7 cases of workplace injuries or illnesses for every 100 full-time workers. All told, there were 2.2 million cases that involved missed time, job transfer or restriction at work in 2021-22.

Overexertion and bodily reaction caused over 1 million cases of workers missing their regular work between 2021 and 2022. These required a median of 14 days away from work per case. Contact with objects and equipment also caused about 800,000 cases of missed time from regular work. 

SEE MORE: Post-pandemic work world leaves more employees feeling isolated

Transportation and material-moving occupations had the highest number of cases involving time away from regular work. The data showed 835,040 total injuries and illnesses over the 2021-2022 period. 

Another concerning trend, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, is illnesses in the private health care and social assistance sector increased from 145,300 in 2021 to 199,700 cases in 2022. The rate of work-related respiratory illnesses among grocery store workers nearly tripled in 2022 compared to the previous year, rising to 190.4 cases per 10,000. 

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