The US Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics announced on Nov. 20, 2008, that the rate and number of occupational injuries and illnesses decreased from 2006 to 2007.

“These injury and illness results demonstrate that [the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s] balanced approach to workplace safety is working,” said Thomas M. Stohler, acting assistant secretary of labor for OSHA. “It’s an approach that encompasses education, training, information sharing, inspection, regulation and aggressive enforcement that are helping achieve significant reductions in workplace injuries and illnesses.

“OSHA’s efforts reducing workplace injuries and illnesses have included cooperative efforts such as voluntary protection programs that help companies generally experience 50 percent fewer lost workday injuries, and they have injury and illness rates that are 53 percent below their industry’s average and reduced workers’ compensation costs,” Stohler said.

From 2003 to 2007, the total number of injuries and illnesses with days away from work declined 11.9 percent, which demonstrates that a comprehensive strategy of targeted enforcement coupled with an emphasis on prevention through compliance assistance is most effective. In addition, the ergonomic injury rate declined 9 percent from 2006 to 2007.