WASHINGTON, D.C. — The National Restaurant Association has released an analysis of new government data showing occupational injuries at eating-and-drinking places dropped in 2004.

According to a news release, this data confirms a continuing decline in workplace injury rates in eating-and-drinking places over the past decade. The injury rates for the restaurant industry are below other sectors in the overall retail/service industry.

Data from the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics showed the incidence of nonfatal occupational injuries and illnesses in 2004 at eating-and-drinking places totaled 4.2 per 100 full-time equivalent employees, compared to the average of all industries at 4.8. The 2004 incidence rate for eating-and-drinking places was far below the rate of 8.1 per 100 full-time equivalent employees for building material and garden equipment retail stores, 7.0 for general merchandise stores and 5.8 for accommodations.

In addition, the NRA's analysis shows that a larger-than-average percentage of the 2004 cases at eating-and-drinking places, 66.7 percent, resulted in no lost workdays. The average for all service-providing industries was 47.6 percent.

"As work-related statistics involving nonfatal injuries in eating-and-drinking places continue to steadily decline, the restaurant industry will continue to have employee safety as a top priority," said Steven C. Anderson, president and chief executive officer of the Association.

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