Survey shows workplace injury and illness rate remains at all-time low
November 5, 2020
Minnesota's estimated workplace injury and illness rate for 2019 remains at its lowest since the measurement started in 1973. According to the annual Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses, Minnesota had an estimated 3.2 OSHA-recordable nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses per 100 full-time-equivalent (FTE) workers in 2019. The estimated rate for 2018 was also 3.2 cases per 100 FTE workers.
The survey estimated Minnesota had 73,000 workers with OSHA-recordable nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses in 2019, compared to 71,600 estimated cases for 2018.
In 2019, Minnesota's employment covered by the survey was approximately 2.87 million workers. In 2018 employment covered by the survey was 2.79 million workers.
"Though it's reassuring to see the rate of injuries and illnesses has continued to decline, there's still more work to be done to ensure every worker has the chance to leave their workday in the same condition in which they arrived," said Roslyn Robertson, Department of Labor and Industry temporary commissioner. "Employers in Minnesota are required to provide a safe and healthful workplace for their employees and we are gratified by those that do so."
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) estimates a national total of 2.8 million nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses in private and public sector workplaces for 2019, resulting in a rate of 2.8 cases per 100 FTE workers.
Other results from the Minnesota survey
Construction was the industry sector with the highest total case injury and illness rate with 4.8 cases per 100 FTE workers. Transportation and warehousing (4.4) and local government (4.4) were the second highest industry sectors, followed by health care and social assistance (4.2).
An estimated 21,200 workers, 0.9 cases per 100 FTE workers, had one or more days away from work after the day of injury. In 2018, the rate was 1.0 cases per 100 FTE workers. Additional statistics are available about the characteristics of the cases with days away from work. Some highlights are shown below.
• For workers with one or more days away from work, the median duration was six days. This rate has remained unchanged since 2017.
• Sprains, strains and tears accounted for 34% of the injuries for workers with days away from work. The second-highest category was soreness and pain, accounting for 19% of the cases.
• The back (20%) was the most commonly injured body part. Hands and knees each accounted for 11% of the cases.
• The most common injury events were: overexertion and bodily reactions (36%); falls, trips and slips (30%); and contact with objects or equipment (19%).
• The most common sources of injury were: floors, walkways and ground surfaces (21%); bodily motion of the injured worker (16%); and persons, other than the injured worker (11%).
State agencies and BLS compile the survey data. This is the primary source of workplace injury and illness statistics at the state and national levels. DLI collects injury and illness records from randomly sampled Minnesota establishments in the private and public sectors (excluding federal agencies). Approximately 4,300 establishments provided usable responses for the 2019 survey.
The Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry appreciates the thousands of employers that fulfilled their mandate to make the survey a success and enabled the publication of injury and illness rates.
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.