Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
- What types of data are available from the IIF program?
The IIF program produces a wide range of statistics on workplace fatal and nonfatal injuries and illnesses by industry and worker characteristics. More information about our program and the statistics we produce can be found here.
- What is the scope of BLS workplace safety data?
The Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses (SOII) reports estimates of nonfatal injuries and illnesses for private industry, state and local governments. Current exceptions include workers on farms with 10 or fewer employees, private household workers, volunteers, and federal government workers. For more information, please see our Handbook of Methods.
The Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI) is a comprehensive national measure of all fatal workplace injuries. For more information, please see our Handbook of Methods.
- Where can I find the most recent injury rates for my industry?
The most recently published nonfatal incidence rates by industry can be found here.
- Where can I find information on occupations with the highest injury rates?
The latest numbers and rates of nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses by occupation can be found in our tables and charts.
The latest numbers and rates of fatal workplace injuries by occupation can be found in our tables and charts.
- Does BLS calculate employer costs?
No. BLS does not provide estimates for the cost associated with workplace injuries.
- Is the BLS count of workplace injuries and illnesses complete?
BLS has funded multiple research projects that examined the completeness and quality of the occupational injury and illness data collected by the SOII. These studies found that the SOII did not capture some cases that appeared to be within its scope; however, the estimated magnitude of the undercount varied dramatically depending on the methodology employed by the researchers.
For additional background information on the completeness of the SOII injury and illness counts and an update on current research please see the SOII data quality research page.
- I tested the statistical significance of a statement of comparison between two estimates. Why did I get a different result than what BLS published?
The variation in estimates is measured by the percent relative standard error (RSE), which is used to calculate confidence intervals around sample estimates and test comparative statements. The IIF program publishes RSEs on its website to one decimal place for ease of display but may calculate confidence intervals and conduct significance tests using RSEs at higher levels of precision. As a result, public users who conduct their own significance tests from published RSEs may, from time to time, get slightly different results than BLS. Additional information on the reliability of IIF estimates and the calculation of confidence intervals can be found at https://www.bls.gov/iif/osh_rse.htm.
- How can I assess my establishment's safety record?
You can assess your establishment's safety record by comparing your incidence rate relative to the national rates for similar establishments.
Industry (nonfatal) injury and illness rates from the most recent published data can be found here.
Information on calculating your firm's incidence rate can be found here.
- How do I complete the Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses?
- Where can I find another company's injury rates?
Accessing our data
- How can I access IIF data?
There are multiple ways to access IIF data.
Often, depending on the level of information sought, the requested information can be found in our resource tables, published annually:
Nonfatal data — injury and illness data by industry. Additional details on the worker injured, the event leading to injury, and source of injury are available for cases involving days away from work.
Fatal data — total counts of fatal workplace injuries, including details on the worker injured, event leading to injury, and source of injury.
For a more customized browsing experience, we recommend using the Data Profiles tool.
- Is there an easy way to retrieve an overview of injuries for a particular occupation in a particular industry and/or event?
Yes. You can generate an online Data Profiles which allows you to choose a topic of interest (such as a detailed industry or occupation) and view crosstabs. Below is an example of an industry Data Profiles that you can create online:
- Go to our Online Profiles tool: https://data.bls.gov/gqt/InitialPage.
- Select "Case and Demographic Numbers" for non-fatal data.
- Select 2017.
- Select "All U.S." or the state you want. Select Single year or a range of years beginning with 2011.
- Select Industry. Then select Numeric or NAME.
- Select the specific Sub-characteristic (in your case, XXXXXX NAICS INDUSTRY). Then select the ownership code.
- Select your output type. The first will create an Excel file based on your criteria. The second will generate the data inside the browser for you to review.
- Does BLS provide access to restricted or confidential data?
Yes, but strictly for research purposes only. Access to microdata for the Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses (SOII) and Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI) programs are available in one of our Federal Statistical Research Data Centers (FSRDCs) throughout the country and onsite at BLS in Washington, D.C. More information can be found here. Access to a research file requires a well-defined research question that has to go through an approval process and takes approximately 6 months.
For more information, the IIF program can be reached at (202) 691-6170 or by e-mailing IIF Staff.
- Does the IIF program provide flat files for published data?
The IIF program has a number of flat files that contain a large amount of fatal and nonfatal data. The Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI) and Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses (SOII) each maintain these flat files. Each set of files corresponds with certain years of data. Here are the series values for the data since 2003:
- SOII Industry-level
- SOII Case and Demographics involving days away from work
The ".txt" files in each section explains the data available for that series. You can use the ".txt" file to extract data from the other files in the directory.
Please note that our coding systems that are the foundation of the data have changed over the years and comparing such data elements are problematic and not advised.
Each flat file has a data point associated with a unique Series ID. For more information on Series ID formats and to download data prior to 2003 see here.
- Can BLS provide data that isn't currently online?
BLS can provide data in addition to what is available online. If you have a specific data request, contact us to see if this is something we can provide.
If there is specific information that you would like to request, the IIF program can be reached at (202) 691-6170 or by submitting a data request online.
- Is OSHA electronic reporting the same as the Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses?
No. OSHA's electronic reporting requirements do not change requirements for completing the Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses. BLS recognizes that in some cases employers will be required to report information to both OSHA and BLS, and will continue efforts to make the submission process as convenient as possible.
More information on OSHA electronic reporting requirements can be found here.
- Will BLS use information collected by OSHA?
Currently, data collected by OSHA do not meet BLS publication requirements and are not used in publication. BLS is currently evaluating ways in which OSHA data may be used in future publications in order to reduce duplicative respondent burden.
If you have any additional questions or would like additional information, the IIF program can be reached at (202) 691-6170 or by e-mailing IIF Staff.
Last Modified Date: August 3, 2020