There were 2.8 million nonfatal workplace injuries in private industry nationwide in 2022, up 7.5% from the prior year, according to figures released Wednesday by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Increases in both injuries and illnesses were driving factors behind the change from 2021, the BLS said, and the illness increase was attributed in large part to a rise in workplace respiratory cases.
There had been a decrease in respiratory illness cases in 2021. The BLS classifies COVID-19 as a respiratory illness.
The figures are based on employer self-reporting from the Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses.
The findings show that over the two-year, 2021-2022 period, there were 2.2 million cases involving days away from work, and the cases occurred at an annualized incidence rate of 112.9 cases per 10,000 full-time equivalent workers.
The National Council for Occupational Safety and Health, an educational and research group, released a statement Wednesday saying the BLS data proves the need for enhanced workplace safety training programs and prioritizing eliminating hazards such as the removal of toxic substances from job sites.
“Workers more than anyone understand their jobs and worker-centered solutions lead to the most effective safety reforms that can prevent injuries and illnesses before they happen,” National COSH Co-Executive Director Jessica Martinez said in a statement.
This article was first published in Business Insurance.