Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses (SOII)

Years Available
1971 to present
Mode of Collection
Mandatory reports of occupational injuries, and illnesses by a sample of employers.
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 in private industry and the public sector (state and local government) is selected by the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics (DOL, BLS) to participate in a mandatory SOII for that calendar year.
Selected Content
Data include the number of new nonfatal injuries and illnesses by industry. Demographic data are collected on workers injured, the nature of the disabling condition, and the event and source producing that condition for cases that involve one or more days away from work.
Population Covered
Persons in the United States employed in private industry establishments and in state and local government. The survey excludes the self-employed, farms with fewer than 11 employees, private households, and federal government agencies.
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 and that requires medical attention beyond first aid. An occupational illness is any abnormal condition or disorder requiring medical attention that is 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.
Response Rates and Sample Size
Each year, approximately 200,000 employers report for establishments in private industry and the public sector.
Interpretation Issues
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.
Data are subject to under reporting errors by employers for the total number of reportable injuries and illnesses within their establishment. Under reporting is due to several factors, including human error, misinterpretation of reporting requirements, and non-reporting of injuries and illnesses to supervisors .