Minnesota workplace injury rate reaches all-time low level


November 9, 2018

Minnesota's estimated workplace injury and illness rate for 2017 is at its lowest rate since the measurement started in 1973. According to the annual Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses, the state had an estimated 3.3 OSHA-recordable nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses per 100 full-time-equivalent (FTE) workers in 2017. The estimated rate for 2016 was 3.4 cases per 100 FTE workers.

The survey estimated Minnesota had 72,500 workers with OSHA-recordable nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses in 2017, compared to 73,600 estimated cases for 2016.

Minnesota's employment covered by the survey increased from 2.72 million in 2016 to 2.81 million in 2017.

"In the past 15 years, Minnesota has seen a 40 percent decrease in its rate of work-related injuries and illnesses," said Ken Peterson, Department of Labor and Industry (DLI) commissioner. "That's a lot less hurt – physically, emotionally and financially – for Minnesota's workers. Still, there is much to be done to ensure more Minnesotans go home safe and healthy each night."

For the survey, DLI collects injury and illness records from randomly sampled Minnesota establishments in the private and public sectors (excluding federal agencies). Approximately 4,700 establishments provided usable responses for the 2017 survey. State agencies and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) compile the nationwide survey data, which is the primary source of workplace injury and illness statistics at the state and national levels.

Nationally, an estimated 3,475,900 nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses were reported in private- and public-sector workplaces for 2017, resulting in a rate of 3.1 cases per 100 FTE workers.

Other results from the Minnesota survey

• The industry divisions with the highest total injury and illness rates were construction (5.0 cases per 100 FTE workers), local government (4.8), and health care and social assistance (4.7).

• An estimated 21,860 worker injuries, 1.0 cases per 100 FTE workers, had one or more days away from work after the day of injury. This rate was unchanged from 2016. Additional statistics are available about the characteristics of the cases with days away from work.

• The median number of days of work disability for workers with one or more days away from work was six days. In comparison, the median number of days away from work was five days in 2016 and six days in 2015.

• Sprains, strains and tears accounted for 36 percent of the injuries for workers with days away from work. The second-highest category was soreness and pain, accounting for 19 percent of the cases.

• The back (19 percent) was the most commonly injured body part, followed by hands (11 percent) and the head (10 percent).

• The most common injury events were falls on the same level (15 percent), being struck by objects or equipment (13 percent) and overexertion while lifting (11 percent).

Additional Minnesota data will be available on the DLI website at http://www.dli.mn.gov/our-areas-service/research-and-statistics/survey-occupational-injuries-and-illnesses. National data tables are available on the BLS website at http://www.bls.gov/iif/oshsum.htm and http://www.bls.gov/iif/oshcdnew.htm.


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