Work-related injuries, illnesses stay steady

Associated Press

WASHINGTON -- About 1.7 million injuries and illnesses at private companies required time off from work in 2000, the same level as the previous year, the Labor Department said Wednesday.

The agency announced last week it would not force businesses to change equipment or facilities to reduce workplace injuries caused by repetitive motion and strain. The decision angered labor unions, which had pushed for mandatory regulations that would have forced workplace changes.

Although overall injuries remained at 1.7 million in 2000, the data released Wednesday marked an end to a steady decline since 1993, when 2.25 million lost-time injuries were reported.

More than one in three injuries in 2000 involved strain of the muscles, nerves or tendons.

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