National News Release USDL [01-488]
Dec. 18, 2001
Contact: Sue Hensley
Phone: (202) 693-4676
Statement of Labor Secretary Elaine L. Chao
On Historic Lows in Workplace Injury and Illness
WASHINGTON -- U.S. Secretary of Labor Elaine L. Chao released the following statement today about the 2000 Injury and Illness data released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics:
"Today's announcement is good news for both workers and those who employ them. Workplace injury and illness rates declined in 2000, to the lowest level since the Bureau of Labor Statistics began reporting this data in the early 1970s. This data shows that our nation's workplaces continue to become safer and healthier each year.
"While the number of injuries and illness cases remained basically the same as reported in 1999 -- 5.7 million -- the number of hours worked rose by two percent, resulting in a lower injury and illness rate of 6.1 cases per 100 workers. Injury and illness rates in more dangerous occupations such as construction and manufacturing also continued to decline.
"We must keep improving upon this positive trend in workplace injury and illness rates, through proper enforcement of health and safety standards, as well as OSHA's model compliance assistance program."
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