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BLS Releases 2011 State, National Injury/Illness Rates

South Carolina's on-the-job injury/illness rate for private industry was 3.3 injuries/illnesses per 100 workers in 2011, up slightly from 2010's rate of 3.1.  However, the state's rates for manufacturing  and construction declined – manufacturing from 3.9 to 3.6 and construction from 2.9 to 2.7.

The data comes from the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics' (BLS) annual Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses.

The U.S. rate for private industry in 2011 was 3.5.

The state's overall 2011 injury/illness rate, which includes private industry and public sector, was 3.6 injuries/illnesses per 100 workers, compared to 2010's overall injury/illness rate of 3.5.

The U.S. overall rate for 2011 was ­3.8.

Sub-sector industries within private industry with the highest non-fatal occupational injury and illness incidence rates for total cases in the state were:

South Carolina state and local government's rate declined from 5.2 percent in 2010 to 5.0 in 2011.  Within state and local government, state government's injury/illness rate decreased slightly from 3.3 in 2010 to 3.2 in 2011. Local government's rate decreased from 6.1 in 2010 to 5.9 in 2011.

The Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses is a federal/state cooperative program between the state Department of LLR and the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). More than 3,100 South Carolina establishments were surveyed in 2011.  The survey measures nonfatal injuries and illnesses only. The survey excludes the self-employed; farms with fewer than 11 employees; private households; and federal government agencies.

The annual survey provides estimates of the number and frequency (incidence rates) of workplace injuries and illnesses based on logs kept by employers during the year. These records reflect not only the year's injury and illness experience, but also the employer's understanding of which cases are work related under recordkeeping rules promulgated by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), U.S. Department of Labor. The number of injuries and illnesses reported in any year can be influenced by the level of economic activity, working conditions and work practices, worker experience and training, and the number of hours worked.

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