OSH Overview

The Bureau of Labor Statistics annually reports on the number of workplace injuries, illnesses, and fatalities. Such information is useful in identifying industries with high rates or large numbers of injuries, illnesses and fatalities both nationwide and separately for those States participating in this program.

Since 1972, the survey has reported annually on the number of workplace injuries and illnesses in private industry and the frequency of those incidents. With the 1992 survey, BLS began collecting additional information on the more seriously injured or ill workers in the form of worker and case characteristics. At that time, BLS also initiated a separate Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries to count these tragic events more effectively than had been possible in the survey.

The BLS safety and health statistical system, therefore, presents three distinct types of data.

  • Summary data
    which reports on the number and rate of injuries and illnesses by industry.
  • Case and demographic data
    which provides additional details on the worker injured, the nature of the disabling condition, and the event and source producing that condition for those cases that involve one or more days away from work.
  • Fatality data
    which provides information on 28 separate data elements including information on the worker, the fatal incident, and the machinery or equipment involved.

Additional information is also available about the history of the BLS safety and health statistical programs.


Last Modified Date: July 1, 2008