MA's Rate Of Workplace Illness And Injuries Below National Average & Lowest Among New England States

Boston, MA (CompNewsNetwork) - According to a recent survey conducted by the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development's Division of Occupational Safety (DOS), 89,600 nonfatal occupational injuries and illnesses were reported among the more than 2.8 million private sector workers in 2007.  This equates to an incidence rate of 4 injuries and illnesses per 100 full-time equivalent workers (FTEs), representing the lowest rate among the reporting New England states.   This rate also compares favorably to the national incidence rate of 4.2 cases per 100 FTEs in private industry for the same period.  

"While Massachusetts' rate of workplace illness and injuries continues to be below the national average and the lowest among New England states, many workplace injuries and illnesses are preventable.  DOS is committed to continuing to work with companies to make workplace safety and health a priority," said DOS Commissioner Laura M. Marlin.  

Suzanne Bump, Secretary of the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development, added: "In 2008, for the first time, Massachusetts will collect injury and illness data for selected public sector workplaces in its annual survey.  This will be extremely useful as we strive to enhance the safety and health of state and municipal workers."
Highlights of 2007 FINDINGS
Severity of Injury or Illness

Of the 89,600 workplace injuries and illnesses in Massachusetts during 2007, roughly 42,400 (47%) did not result in lost workdays, while approximately 47,200  (53%) of cases involved days away from work, job transfer, restriction or any combination of these actions.  The latter category includes those incidences that are more serious. 

Highest Incidence Rates

Among the ten major industry sectors, the highest occupational injury and illness incidence rate occurred in construction, with a rate of 6.1 cases per 100 FTEs, which is relatively unchanged from 2006's rate of 6.4.  Approximately 140,900 or 5.0% of Massachusetts' private sector employees worked in construction.  Other industries with rates higher than Massachusetts' overall rate for all private industries (4.0 cases per 100 FTEs) were:  education and health services, leisure and hospitality, natural resources and mining and the trade, transportation, and utilities industry.  Education and health services had an incidence rate of 5.9 cases per 100 FTEs, and employed 20.6% of the private sector workforce; while leisure and hospitality employed 10.7% of private sector employees, but had an incidence rate of 5.1 injuries and illnesses per 100 FTEs.  Trade, transportation, and utilities had an incidence rate of 5.1 cases per 100 FTEs, and employed 20.2% of private sector workers.  One of the smallest industries to have a high incidence rate was the natural resources and mining industry.  This industry sector includes occupations within the agriculture, forestry, fishing, and hunting fields.  In 2007, it comprised 0.3% (7,200 workers) of the private sector workforce, but had an incidence rate of 4.9 injuries and illnesses per 100 FTEs, relatively unchanged from 2006.

Lowest Incidence Rates

The lowest injury and illness incidence rate, 1.3 injuries and illnesses per 100 FTEs, occurred in financial activities, which employed 8.0% of the private sector workforce.  The remaining major industry sectors had incidence rates lower than Massachusetts' overall incidence rate for all private industries.  These sectors include:  manufacturing, professional and business services, information, and other services. 

Size of Work Establishment

For injury and illness incidence rates by employer size, establishments having 1-10 employees had the lowest incidence rate at 2.4 cases per 100 FTEs, and establishments having 50-249 employees had the highest incidence rate at 5.3 injuries and illnesses per 100 FTEs.  The largest establishments having 1,000 or more employees experienced an incidence rate of 3.8 cases per 100 FTEs.

Survey Data Sources

Survey data is derived from mandatory logs kept by private industry employers during the calendar year. All survey responses are confidential and are used for statistical purposes only.  The Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses is a federal-state government partnership between the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and the Massachusetts Division of Occupational Safety (DOS). 

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