Texas Nonfatal Occupational Injury and Illness Incidence Rate Hits 5-Year Low in 2007

  • Austin, TX  (CompNewsNetwork) - The National Bureau of Labor Statistics announces a total of 252,784 nonfatal injuries and illnesses were reported by private industry workplaces in Texas during 2007. The resulting rate of 3.4 cases per 100 equivalent full-time employees marks a five-year low. The rate of injuries and illnesses reflects a 15% decrease from 4.0 in 2003, when data collection began under the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS). The Texas rate is below the national rate of 4.2 for 2007; the national rate for 2006 was 4.4.

The 2007 injury and illness data are the latest available from the Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses conducted by the Texas Department of Insurance, Division of Workers' Compensation (TDI-DWC) in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The occupational injury and illness rates are based on a statistical sample of approximately 10,000 private employers in Texas.

Workplace injury and illness rates vary widely among private sector industries.

  • The goods producing industries reported an overall 7% decrease from 2006. Within this group, mining showed the largest decrease (29%) of all sectors, matching the rate in 2003 and 2004. Manufacturing slightly decreased from 2006 and is down by 17% from 2003. Meanwhile, construction remained the same and the industry maintained a 14% decrease from 2003.
  • The service providing industries also showed a decrease of almost 6% from 2006. Health care and social assistance reported the largest decrease (20%).
  • In 2007, the manufacturing, wholesale trade, transportation and warehousing, utilities, financial activities, educational services and health care and social assistance (7 of 16) sectors experienced their lowest nonfatal injury and illness rate in the last five years (since collecting the data under NAICS).

Workplace injury and illness rates varied among the major industries with the 10 highest rates in 2007.

  • Wood product manufacturing (7.1) recorded a notable 17% increase from 2006 (5.9) and beverage and tobacco product manufacturing (6.6) experienced a slight increase (6.4). These two industries replaced transportation equipment manufacturing (5.0), which had a significant 26% decrease from 2006; and furniture and related product manufacturing (5.6), which experienced a substantial 22% decrease.
  • The remaining industries also experienced decreases from 2006.  The largest decreases were in air transportation (13%) followed by nursing and residential care facilities (10%).
  • Within the goods producing group, industries that experienced the highest rates were primary metal manufacturing (7.2), wood product manufacturing (7.1) beverage and tobacco product manufacturing (6.6), food production (6.5) and animal production (6.5).
    Air transportation (10.5) and couriers and messengers (10.2) continued to report the highest rates in all industries, followed by warehousing and storage (7.4). 

The TDI-DWC collects survey data in order to assist employers, safety professionals, and policymakers in identifying safety and health issues in the state. Likewise, the TDI-DWC's Workplace Safety program area provides various safety and health services to help reduce injuries and illnesses in the workplace through accident and illness prevention. Services include: free safety and health consultations on Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations; regional and statewide safety conferences; safety training; free safety and health publications; free safety training video loans; and the Safety Violations Hotline. For more information on these services, visit the TDI website at http://www.tdi.state.tx.us/wc/safety/index.html or call 800-687-7080.

In November, the TDI-DWC will release more in-depth case and demographic data about the 2007 injury and illness rates. Additional Texas fatal and nonfatal occupational injury and illness data are available by contacting the TDI-DWC's Safety Information Systems at 512-804-4651 or injurystatistics@tdi.state.tx.us.

Details about the national BLS injury and illness data can be found at http://www.bls.gov/iif/oshsum.htm.

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