It may have taken the government more than a year to release the data, but in this case a little good news is worth the wait. The Bureau of Labor Statistics has just published its study of workplace injuries for 2003—yes, 2003. The good news is that the rate of overall work-related injuries and illnesses declined from the previous year, to 5.0 cases per 100 workers in 2003 from 5.3 cases per 100 equivalent full-time workers in 2002. Furthermore, there were 7.1 percent fewer injuries reported overall in 2003.
The bad news is that transportation and warehousing remains on the list of industries with the highest injury rates, accounting for nearly 7.0 percent of all non-fatal workplace injuries. In 2003, the transportation and warehousing sector reported 7.8 cases per 100 equivalent full-time workers (compared to 5.0 for all industries). Of these, 3.5 percent required days away from work and another 1.8 percent required a change of job or other work restrictions. This compares to an average of 1.5 days lost for all industries and 1.1 percent for injuries requiring job changes or restrictions.
So, as they used to say on "Hill Street Blues: " "Be careful out there."