Special to Iredell Free News
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 2021 with a rate of 2.2 cases per 100 full-time workers. This is significantly lower than the national rate of 2.7.
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 proud to see the state of North Carolina’s injury and illness rate is significantly lower than the national rate,” Labor Commissioner Josh Dobson said. “As we have made our way through this pandemic, I want to commend the employers and employees for their hard work and dedication to workplace safety and health. I will continue to do everything I can as Labor Commissioner to push the importance of safety and health at the workplace and get these injury and illness rates lowered.”
The 2021 rate for North Carolina’s local government sector increased from 3.5 cases per 100 full-time employees to 3.9. In North Carolina, the rate for private industry construction did not significantly change between 2020 and 2021. The rate for private industry manufacturing was increased from 2.5 cases per 100 full-time employees to 2.8. The rate for private sector skilled nursing facilities significantly declined in 2021 to 8.0 cases per 100 full-time employees. This represents a significant decline from the 2020 rate of 14.7 cases per 100 full-time employees.
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.