Occupational Illnesses Down in 2004

Dec. 2, 2005
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics' most recent Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses, there were about 249,000 newly reported cases of occupational illnesses in private industry in 2004, down by nearly 8 percent from 269,500 cases in 2003.

Service-providing industries accounted for approximately 53 percent of these cases, while goods-producing industries accounted for 47 percent.

The manufacturing sector accounted for 42 percent of all newly reported cases of occupational illnesses.

The "All Other Illnesses" category accounted for 65 percent of total illness cases in 2004. In 2003, this category comprised over 75 percent of all illnesses.

Beginning with the 2004 calendar year, OSHA included "Hearing loss" as a separate illness category. Hearing loss accounted for more than 11 percent of all illnesses in 2004. In 2003, hearing loss cases were included in the "All Other Illnesses" category.

The Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses measures the number of new, work-related illness cases that are recognized, diagnosed and reported during the year. Some conditions (for example, long-term latent illnesses caused by exposure to carcinogens) often are difficult to relate to the workplace and are not adequately recognized and reported, according to BLS.

Such long-term latent illnesses are believed to be understated in the survey's illness measures. In contrast, the overwhelming majority of the reported new illnesses are those that are easier to directly relate to workplace activity (for example, contact dermatitis or carpal tunnel syndrome).

The 2004 survey and other occupational safety and health data can be viewed at the BLS Web site, located at http://www.bls.gov/iif.

Sponsored Recommendations

ISO 45001: Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems (OHSMS)

March 28, 2024
ISO 45001 certification – reduce your organizational risk and promote occupational health and safety (OHS) by working with SGS to achieve certification or migrate to the new standard...

Want to Verify your GHG Emissions Inventory?

March 28, 2024
With the increased focus on climate change, measuring your organization’s carbon footprint is an important first action step. Our Green House Gas (GHG) verification services provide...

Download Free ESG White Paper

March 28, 2024
The Rise and Challenges of ESG – Your Journey to Enhanced Sustainability, Brand and Investor Potential

Free Webinar: Mining & ESG: The Sustainability Mandate

March 28, 2024
Participants in this webinar will understand the business drivers and challenges of ESG and sustainability performance, the 5 steps of the ESG and sustainability cycle, and prioritized...

Voice your opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of EHS Today, create an account today!