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BLS announced that nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses among private industry employers declined in 2009 to a rate of 3.6 cases per 100 equivalent full time workers, down from a total case rate of 3.9 in 2008.
According to the BLS, the number of reported nonfatal occupational injury and illness cases that required days away from work to recuperate decreased by 9% in 2009 for private industry, state, and local government. (Note, this number reflects a decrease in construction and overall employment.)
The U.S. Department of Labor has announced a total of $27 million in National Emergency Grant awards to Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, and Mississippi to assist workers along the Gulf Coast who have been displaced as a result of the ongoing Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
Cleanup workers can face potential hazards from oil byproducts, dispersants, detergents, and degreasers. Drowning, heat illness, and falls also pose hazards, as can encounters with wild species native to the impacted areas. OSHA is consulting with BP and others to ensure that workers receive appropriate training and protective equipment.