The rate of injuries and illnesses for U.S. workers in the private sector fell in 2014, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported on Thursday. That continues a long-term decline that saw about 54,000 fewer cases in 2014 compared with 2013, despite an increase in the reported number of hours worked.

In 2014, 3.2 recordable cases occurred per 100 full-time workers in the private industry. (The rate was 3.3 in 2013.) With the exception of 2012, that rate has fallen every year for the past 12 years.

About 95 percent of the cases last year in the private sector were injuries. About 25 percent occurred in fields such as manufacturing or construction, and about 75 percent occurred in the service industries. Workplace illnesses accounted for around 5 percent of incidents in 2014. Most of those struck the service-providing industries, which accounted for nearly 65 percent of those cases.

The injury rate in construction was 3.5 per 100. In manufacturing, it was 3.6 per 100. Wood product manufacturing had one of the highest injury rates among all industries — 6.3 per 100.

Among public-sector workers, the rate fell to 5.0 in 2014 from 5.2 in 2013. Local government workers account for about 80 percent of all public-sector injuries, which occurred at a rate of 5.4 per 100 among that group.

Private industry injury and illness incidence rates declined in ten states and were mostly unchanged in 31 states and in the District of Columbia compared to 2013. Rates were higher in 19 states, lower in 14 states and in the District of Columbia, and about the same in eight states.


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