According to statistics kept by the Department of Labor’s Occupational Health and Safety Administration, both the total number of cases and the rate of reported cases per 100 employees has declined in the federal government, going from a rate of 4.95 cases per 100 employees in 2004 to just 2.46 per 100 in 2019.
By contrast, Bureau of Labor Statistics data found that all industries had an average of 3.1 recordable cases per 100 employees in 2018.
A majority of the injury and illness cases in the federal government happen to U.S. Postal Service employees, whose jobs often require more demanding and sometimes dangerous physical exertion. USPS also has the most on-the-job fatalities in the federal government, followed by the Department of Defense.
USPS employees are also prescribed more opioids on average than any other group of federal employees.
That opioid use — and its use among other federal employees — is part of the reason that the Trump administration buckled down on employee injury cases Jan. 9, by launching the Protecting Employees, Enabling Reemployment initiative.