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Statement by U.S. Secretary of Labor Elaine L. Chao on 2007 workplace injury and illness rates

Friday, October 24, 2008 General News J E 4
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Rate continues to decline significantly and continues at recorded low



WASHINGTON, Oct. 23 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The rate of workplace injuries and illnesses in private industry declined in 2007 for the sixth consecutive year, the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported today. Nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses reported by private industry employers declined from 4.4 cases per 100 workers in 2006 to 4.2 cases in 2007.



"The 21 percent decline in the workplace injury and illness rate over the past six years and a 4.5 percent decline over the past year show the effectiveness of the strategy of targeted enforcement coupled with prevention through compliance assistance to promote a culture of safety at the workplace," said Secretary of Labor Elaine L. Chao.



Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Edwin G. Foulke Jr. said, "Today's injury and illness results demonstrate that OSHA's balanced approach to workplace safety encompassing education, training, information sharing, inspection, regulation and aggressive enforcement is achieving significant reductions in workplace injury and illness throughout the country. This report shows that employees are now safer in the workplace than ever before. This success validates our efforts, and we are redoubling this commitment to make workplaces even safer."



OSHA operates a vigorous enforcement program, having conducted more than 39,000 inspections in fiscal year 2007 and exceeding its inspection goals in each of the last eight years. In fiscal year 2007, OSHA found nearly 89,000 violations of its standards and regulations.



To read the full report go to www.bls.gov.



U.S. Department of Labor releases are accessible on the Internet at www.dol.gov. The information in this news release will be made available in alternate format (large print, Braille, audio tape or disc) upon request from the COAST office. Please specify which news release when placing your request at 202-693-7828 or TTY 202-693-7755. The Labor Department is committed to providing America's employers and employees with easy access to understandable information on how to comply with its laws and regulations. For more information, please visit www.dol.gov/compliance.



SOURCE U.S. Department of Labor
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