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Retail Sector Tops US Injury and Illness Rates

Retail Sector Tops US Injury and Illness Rates

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  • General Retail Stores have seen the highest increase in injuries and illnesses rate at 37%
  • Second, comes the Leather Good Production sector, with a 25% increase
  • Care Facilities are the third

A new study by Jackman Law Firm has discovered that employees of General Retail 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 to discover which industry sector has had the highest increase in injuries and illness.

General Retail Stores have seen the highest increase, 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 Retail Stores include retail stores which sell several 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 goods production sector with an increase of 25% in the rate of injuries and illness 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 Care facilities and the Professional Services sectors.

The first saw its incident rate per 100 workers grow from 23.2 in 2017 to 26.2 in 2021, the highest rates on the list, while the latter registered 0.8 in 2017 and 0.9 in 2021.

Further down on the list, the Timber Industry 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 Storage Services sector with an increase of 8%.


Top 10 industries with the highest increase in injuries and illnesses rate
Rank Sector 2017 2021 % change
1 General Retail Stores 4.1 5.6 37%
2 Leather Goods Production 3.6 4.5 25%
= 3 Care Facilities 23.2 26.2 13%
= 3 Professional Services (science and tech) 0.8 0.9 13%
4 Timber Industry 3.1 3.4 10%
5 Storage Services 5.1 5.5 8%
6 Food Production 4.5 4.8 7%
7 Healthcare Retail 1.8 1.9 6%
= 8 Public Safety 5.9 6.2 5%
= 8 Grocery Stores 4.3 4.5 5%
= 8 Water Transport 2.2 2.3 5%
9 Various Manufacturing 2.4 2.5 4%
10 Museums & Culture 3.7 3.8 3%


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.”



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