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REVEALED: The Sector with the Highest Increase in Injuries and Illnesses Rate in the US

  • ‘General merchandise stores’ have seen the highest increase in injuries and illnesses rate at 37%

  • Second comes ‘leather and allied product manufacturing’ with a 25% increase

  • ‘Nursing and residential care facilities’ are third

A new study by Jackman Law Firm has discovered that employees of ‘general merchandise stores’ have had the highest increase in occupational injuries and illness rates from 2017 to 2021.

The study analyzed the latest US Bureau of Labor Statistics data on incident rates comparing 2017 to 2021 data to discover which industry sector has had the highest increase in injuries and illness.

‘General merchandise stores’ have seen the highest increase, therefore taking the top spot. In 2017 the incident rate was 4.1 for every 100 workers, while in 2021 it grew to 5.6, which equates to a 37% increase.

‘General merchandise stores’ include retail stores which sell a number of lines of merchandise, such as dry goods, apparel and accessories, furniture and home furnishings, and food, such as Target and Walmart, as well as Macy’s.

In second comes the ‘leather and allied product manufacturing’ sector with an increase of 25% in the rate of injuries and illnesses sustained working in the industry. The 2017 data registered an incident rate of 3.6 per 100 employees while in 2021 it had risen to a rate of 4.5. The sector transforms hides into leather by tanning or curing and fabricating the leather into products for final consumption, as well as "leather substitutes," such as rubber, plastics, or textiles.

Tied for third place with a 13% increase is the ‘nursing and residential care facilities’ and the ‘professional, scientific, and technical services’ sectors.

Nursing its incident rate per 100 workers grew from 23.2 in 2017 to 26.2 in 2021, the highest rates on the list, while ‘professional, scientific, and technical services’ registered 0.8 in 2017 and 0.9 in 2021.

Further down on the list, the ‘forestry and logging’ sector takes fourth place with a 10% increase from the 3.1 incident rate of 2017 to the 3.4 registered in 2021, while the top five closes with the ‘warehousing and storage’ sector with an increase of 8%.

Chris Jackman, Lead Attorney at Jackman Law Firm commented on the findings: “This data offers a fascinating insight into the risk of injury and illness across a wide range of industries in America. It’s interesting and at the same time concerning to see the variety of sectors present on the list, which highlights that regardless of the nature of the job, employees can be vulnerable to injuries and illness in any shape or form.”


Data sourced from Bureau of Labor Statistics



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