WASHINGTON, DC — December 20, 2002 — New government data showing the continued decline in worker illnesses and injuries “underscores the effectiveness of voluntary industry programs to promote workplace safety,” said Tim Hammonds, president and CEO of the Food Marketing Institute (FMI), referring to 2001 Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data released yesterday.

“We’re particularly pleased to see that food retailer efforts are producing impressive results. The BLS data show that the industry has reduced workplace injuries and illnesses by more than one-third over the past 10 years — from 12.5 per 100 full-time workers in 1992 to 8.1 in 2001.

“The improvement we see in the most recent year — 8.4 to 8.1 — shows our industry’s current and ongoing commitment to worker safety.

“These results also show that OSHA working together with industry to implement changes in the workplace to enhance worker safety is effective.”