Industry contributions to aggregate workplace injury and illness rate trends: 1992–2008

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BackgroundAggregate workplace injury and illness rates have generally declined over the past quarter century. Assessing which industries contributed to these declines is hampered by industry coding changes that broke time series data.Materials and methodsRatios were estimated to convert older incidence rate data to current industry codes and to create long industry time series from data of the BLS Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses. These data were used to assess contributions to aggregate trends from within-industry incidence rate trends and across-industry hours shifts.ResultsHours shifts toward safer industries do not explain aggregate incidence rate declines. Rather declines resulted from within-industry declines. The top 20 contributors out of 307 industries account for 40 percent of the decline and include both goods-producing and service-providing industries.ConclusionThese data help focus future research on industries responsible for rate declines and factors hypothesized as contributing to declines. Am. J. Ind. Med. 57:1149–1164, 2014. Published 2014. This article is a U.S. Government work and is in the public domain in the USA.

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