January 16, 2015 | Volume 13, Number 1

BLS Releases 2013 “Days Away from Work” Data

In 2013, for every 100,000 full-time workers, there were 109.4 cases of nonfatal occupational injury and illness that required days away from work, according to the latest data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). This was a decline from the 2012 number of 111.8 cases for every 100,000 full-time employees (FTE).

Other relevant statistics (for every 100,000 FTE; comparing 2012 and 2013) include:

  • The average number of recovery days away from work was eight, down from nine in 2012.
  • Musculoskeletal disorders contributed to 33% of all cases in 2013.
  • While the private sector rate was not statistically different than the 2012 rate, the rate for falls increased from 14.8 in 2012 to 15.4 in 2013.
  • Healthcare and social assistance, heavy and tractor-trailer driving, and food preparation industries experienced an increase.
  • Cases for local government protective service workers dropped from 480.4 in 2012 to 451.3 in 2013.

For more detailed information, read the BLS report.

NSC: Protect Temporary and Contract Workers

The National Safety Council is urging organizations to ensure the safety of temporary and contract workers.

In recent years, the number of temporary and contract workers has risen along with the rates of injury and death. Despite the often high risk jobs, some workers do not receive adequate training and protection compared to regular employees.

To address this situation, the National Safety Council recommends that employers:

  • Ensure that temporary and contract workers have the same rights to safety as regular employees
  • Provide sufficient training to temporary and contract workers
  • Inform workers of their rights and responsibilities
  • Gather information about safety risks facing temporary and contract workers

Read here for more information.

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Study Links Specific Behaviors to Less Sleep

Researchers from the University of Pennsylvania have identified behaviors associated with getting less sleep. About 40 percent of adults in the U.S. get less than seven hours of sleep each weeknight, and 15 percent get less than six.

Some of the traits that attributed to lack of sleep included employees with longer commutes, those who started their activities earlier in the morning, and those that held two or more jobs.

These findings point to possible interventions, which could target and help prevent such behaviors. The study was published in the journal Sleep and relied on data from the American Time Use Survey.

For more information, read the press release from the University of Pennsylvania.

Cooking Causes Nearly 50% of Residential Fires

Recent data from the United States Fire Administration indicate that about 366,900 fires strike residential buildings in the United States every year, killing 2,465 people, injuring 13,400 and incurring $7 billion in property loss.

Highlights of their Topical Fire Report Series on Residential Building Fires (2010-2012) include:

  • Forty-seven percent of residential fires were attributed to cooking, and 92 percent of the fires were “small” and “confined.” Cooking was the main cause of the fires.
  • The fires occurred mostly during the early evening hours between 5 and 8.
  • Forty-eight percent of non-confined residential building fires spread outside the “room of origin.” These fires were primarily caused by careless behavior and electrical problems.
  • In 22 percent of the non-confined fires, smoke alarms were not installed.

A full PDF of the report highlights the occurrence of residential fires per month; property damage; origins; first object to ignite, etc.

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