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 on October 23. Non-fatal 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, "The 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.