Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses
The Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses (SOII) is a federal/state program that collects statistics used to identify problems with workplace safety and to develop programs to improve workplace safety. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations require the recording and reporting by employers of occupational fatalities, injuries, and illnesses. Each January, a sample of employers is selected by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to participate in a mandatory SOII for that calendar year.
Survey estimates of occupational injuries and illnesses are based on a scientifically selected probability sample of establishments, rather than a census of all establishments. Each January, an independent sample is selected for each state and the District of Columbia. Establishments in the sample are instructed to maintain lists of injuries and illnesses and to track days away from work, restricted, or transferred using the OSHA Summary of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses. An occupational injury is any injury that results from a work-related event or from a single instantaneous exposure in the work environment. An occupational illness is any abnormal condition or disorder caused by factors related to employment. It includes acute and chronic illnesses or diseases that may be caused by inhalation, absorption, ingestion, or direct contact.
In 2007, employer reports were collected from about 205,900 private industries. The survey response rate was 92%.
The number of new injuries and illnesses reported in any given year can be influenced by the level of economic activity, working conditions and work practices, worker experience and training, and number of hours worked. Long-term latent illnesses caused by exposure to carcinogens are believed to be understated in the survey's illness measure. In contrast, new illnesses such as contact dermatitis and carpal tunnel syndrome are easier to relate directly to workplace activity.
National Center for Health Statistics. Health United States 2009: With Special Feature on Medical Technology. Hyattsville, Maryland. 2010; pp 487-488.