California Work-related Injury and Illness Rate Lowest in 13 Years

California Work-related Injury and Illness Rate Lowest in 13 Years



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OAKLAND, California, Nov. 20, 2015 /PRNewswire-HISPANIC PR WIRE/ — The Department of Industrial Relations (DIR) has posted California’s 2014 occupational injury and illness data with detailed information on employer-reported injuries involving days away from work. The data shows that the incidence of occupational injuries remains at its lowest level in 13 years.

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“As a whole, the lower work-related injury and illness rates reflect California’s commitment to on-the-job health and safety,” said DIR Director Christine Baker.  “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.”   

The Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses (SOII) 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 (referred to as lost work-time cases), with over 140,000 of those cases involving days away from work. The incidence of nonfatal occupational injuries and illnesses in California remain at their lowest level in the past decade in all three categories.

Key findings of the 2014 SOII in California:

  • 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, 3 out of 4 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 of every four workers whose injury or illness at work involved days away from work in private industry had been on the job less than a year.
    • Teenagers from 16 to 19 years of age suffered the highest incidence of days away from work compared to 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.

“These statistics on California occupational injuries and illnesses provide us with valuable information to protect workers, and help us refine and strengthen workplace safety and health regulations, training materials, and outreach and education efforts for employers and workers,” said Cal/OSHA Chief Juliann Sum. Cal/OSHA is a division in DIR.

Tables and charts reflecting nonfatal occupational injuries and illnesses data for 2014 (and prior years’ data) for California are posted online.

Estimates for the California Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses are derived from a statistical sample of 16,000 employers in the state. The SOII program is administered by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) in cooperation with participating state agencies. Under the OSHA Recordkeeping regulation (29 CFR 1904), covered employers are required to prepare and maintain records of serious occupational injuries and illnesses, using the OSHA 300 Log.

Additional background and methodological information regarding the BLS occupational safety and health statistics program can be found in Chapter 9 of the BLS Handbook of Methods. Employment data are 2014 annual averages from the BLS Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (QCEW) program.

DIR protects and improves the health, safety and economic well-being of over 18 million wage earners, and helps their employers comply with state labor laws. Its’ Division of Occupational Safety and Health, commonly known as Cal/OSHA, helps protect workers from health and safety hazards on the job in almost every workplace in California. Cal/OSHA does not have authority when injuries occur on public roadways. Cal/OSHA’s Consultation Services Branch provides free and voluntary assistance to employers and employee organizations to improve their health and safety programs. Employers should call (800) 963-9424 for assistance from Cal/OSHA Consultation Services.

Employees with work-related questions or complaints may contact DIR’s Call Center in English or Spanish at 844-LABOR-DIR (844-522-6734). The California Workers’ Information line at 866-924-9757 provides recorded information in English and Spanish on a variety of work-related topics. Complaints can also be filed confidentially with Cal/OSHA district offices.

Members of the press may contact Erika Monterroza or Peter Melton at (510) 286-1161, and are encouraged to subscribe to get email alerts on DIR’s press releases or other departmental updates.

https://www.facebook.com/CaliforniaDIR 
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http://www.dir.ca.gov/email/listsub.asp?choice=1

The California Department of Industrial Relations, established in 1927, protects and improves the health, safety, and economic well-being of over 18 million wage earners, and helps their employers comply with state labor laws. DIR is housed within the Labor & Workforce Development Agency. For general inquiries, contact DIR’s Communications Call Center at 844-LABOR-DIR (844-522-6734) for help in locating the appropriate division or program in our department.

California Work-related Injury and Illness Rate Lowest in 13 Years