California Worker Injury Rate Lowest in 13 Years

November 20, 2015

The California Department of Industrial Relations has posted the state’s 2014 occupational injury and illness data, which offers a look at employer-reported injuries involving days away from work.

The data shows that the incidence of occupational injuries remained at its lowest level in 13 years.

The Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses data reflect a total of 460,000 reportable injury and illness cases in 2014, of which 265,000 cases involve lost work-time, job transfer or restriction-from-duty cases – also referred to as lost work-time cases – with more than 140,000 of those cases involving days away from work.

Across all three categories the incidence of nonfatal occupational injuries and illnesses in California remain at their lowest level in the past decade, the report shows.

Data from the California Department of Industrial Relations shows that in 2014 the incidence of occupational injuries remained at its lowest level in 13 years.
Data from the California Department of Industrial Relations shows that in 2014 the incidence of occupational injuries remained at its lowest level in 13 years.

Findings in the report show:

  • For cases involving days away from work, Latino workers continue to experience the highest incidence of occupational injuries, comprising 59 percent of all reported days away from work cases. In construction, manufacturing, mining and natural resources, three-in-four workers injured on the job and losing work days are Latino.
  • In private industry, new hires and young workers have higher rates of injury: One-in-four workers whose injury or illness involved days away from work in private industry had been on the job less than a year, and teenagers suffered the highest incidence of days away from work compared with all other age groups.
  • Sprains, strains and tears are the largest injury category involving days away from work. Among private sector workers, the greatest number of injuries or illnesses requiring days away from work were caused by overexertion and bodily reaction, by contact with an object or piece of equipment, and by falls, trips and slips.

“As a whole, the lower work-related injury and illness rates reflect California’s commitment to on-the-job health and safety,” DIR Director Christine Baker said in a statement. “However, employers in industry sectors that have a disproportionate share of work-related injuries must focus on prevention to further protect the health and safety of employees.”

Estimates for the report are derived from a statistical sample of 16,000 employers in the state. The program is administered by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics in cooperation with participating state agencies. OSHA regulations require covered employers to prepare and maintain records of serious occupational injuries and illnesses.

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