Injuries in the Public Sector

Hilary Tuttle


February 1, 2014


In its latest “Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses,” the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses declined to a rate of 3.4 incidents per 100 full-time workers in 2012. Down from 3.5 cases per 100 workers in 2011, this figure continued its steady decline over the past decade. The incidence rate in the private industry fell to 3.2 cases per 100 full-time workers in 2012, but among state and local government workers, injuries still occur at a rate of 5.6 cases per 100. Further, nearly 4 out of 5 injuries and illnesses reported in the public sector occurred among local government workers, resulting in an injury and illness rate of 6.1 cases per 100 workers. These workers were at greater risk than their counterparts at the state government level, who report 4.4 cases per 100 workers. State government nursing care facilities reported the highest overall nonfatal case rate of any sector with 13.6 injuries per 100 workers, followed by prefabricated home manufacturing, local government police protection and travel trailer manufacturing. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that fatal occupational injuries decreased to 4,383 from 4,693 in 2011. Overall, fatal workplace injuries have fallen by nearly 25% since 2006.

Hilary Tuttle is managing editor of Risk Management.