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Workplace Injury and Illness Rate Continues to Decline

Raleigh—New figures released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), an agency of the U.S. Department of Labor, show the nonfatal workplace injury and illness rate for North Carolina’s private industry remains at a historic low for 2020 with a rate of 2.1 cases per 100 full-time workers. This represents a decline from the 2019 rate of 2.3 and is significantly lower than the national rate of 2.7. North Carolina’s rate for private industry is the fourth lowest in the nation and is the lowest rate among all State-Plan states. 
These data are estimates from the Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses (SOII) compiled by the BLS. The rate accounts for growth and contraction in total hours worked in industry, which is an important factor in a state like North Carolina that has experienced significant growth. 

“I am pleased to see that the downward trend in workplace injuries and illnesses continued in 2020,” Labor Commissioner Josh Dobson said. “Given the additional challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, employers and employees should be commended for their dedication to safety on the job. Businesses in this state have embraced a culture of safety, which is reflected in the fact that North Carolina’s injury and illness rate is the fourth lowest in the nation.” 

The 2020 rate for North Carolina’s state and local government sector was 3.0 cases per 100 full-time employees. This represents a significant decline from the 2019 rate of 3.8 cases per 100 workers. Nationally, the rate was 3.9 for 2020. In North Carolina, the rate for private industry construction in 2020 was 2.0 cases per 100 full-time employees and the rate for private industry manufacturing was 2.5. These rates are statistically unchanged from 2019. 

As a State-Plan state, North Carolina’s Occupational Safety and Health Division will continue its focus on hazardous industries, such as construction and manufacturing, through its special emphasis programs, by providing free safety training and education, conducting free safety and health consultative visits, and establishing partnerships and alliances with industries. 


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