OSHA News Release - (Archived) Table of Contents|
News Release USDL: 97-457
Wednesday, December 17, 1997
Contact: Gerry Gibbs (202)219-8211
STATEMENT BY SECRETARY OF LABOR ALEXIS M. HERMAN ON WORK-RELATED INJURIES AND ILLNESSES IN 1996
Secretary of Labor Alexis M. Herman today issued the following statement, commenting on the results of today's Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) report on work-related injuries and illnesses in 1996. The report showed a drop in the rate of injury and illness cases for the fourth year in a row.
"I am pleased to report this decrease in the rate of workplace injuries and illnesses. Clearly, the work of the Department and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has had a significant and notable effect. We are moving toward achieving my goal of ensuring safe and healthful workplaces for all Americans.
"The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports an incidence rate of 7.4 injuries and illnesses per 100 full-time workers -- the lowest rate since BLS began tracking this data in 1973. Across all sectors, in nearly every category, there are fewer injuries and illnesses. These reductions are the result of many factors, including employee training, employer commitment, the Department's education and outreach initiatives, and OSHA's consultation services and enforcement activities.
"At the same time, however, I must note that while this is good news, it is not good enough. Millions of workers either lost work time or were placed on restricted work activity, often while recuperating from injuries sustained on the job. And although the overall number of illnesses associated with repeated trauma such as carpal tunnel syndrome decreased, the percentage of those cases increased over 1995.
"There is still work to be done, and I challenge every workplace to redouble its efforts to improve the safety and health of its workforce. OSHA stands ready as an equal partner with business and labor to meet this challenge."
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