Special Notice Regarding Breaks in Series

Beginning with the 2003 reference year, Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses began using the 2002 North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) for industries and the Standard Occupational Classification system (SOC) for occupations. Prior to 2003, the program used the Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) system and the Bureau of the Census occupational classification system. Because of the substantial differences between the current and previous systems, the results by industry and occupation in 2003 constitute a break in series, and users are advised against making comparisons between the 2003 industry and occupation categories and the results for previous years. For additional information, questions and answers have been prepared on the tranistion.

Also, effective January 1, 2002, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) revised its requirements for recording occupational injuries and illnesses. The BLS Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses, the primary source for the estimates of occupational injuries and illnesses in this release, is based on employers' records of injuries and illnesses. Due to the revised recordkeeping rules, the estimates from the 2002 survey are not comparable with those from prior years.

When comparing private and public sector injury and illness rates, caution must be exercised because of differences in the risks associated with particular industry and occupational categories. For example, many public sector workers perform high-risk activities, such as supplying police protection, guarding correctional institutions, providing paid and volunteer fire protection, as well as caring for patients in state psychiatric hospitals and residential care facilities.