Industrial Hygiene, Occupational Health

California’s Nonfatal Worker Injuries, Illnesses Level in 2016

DIR News Release No.: 2017-105
Date: November 15, 2017

The Department of Industrial Relations (DIR) has posted California’s 2016 occupational injury and illness data on employer-reported injuries. According to the estimates provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses (SOII), California’s overall incidence rate of nonfatal occupational injuries and illnesses remains steady at 3.7 cases per 100 workers for full time employees, the lowest rate in over a decade. The data posted includes detailed case and demographic tables, as well as a summary of findings by DIR’s research team.

“California continues to use research like this survey to refine and strengthen workplace safety and health regulations, training materials, and outreach and education efforts for employers and workers,” said DIR Director Christine Baker.

The estimates show there were approximately 466,600 nonfatal reportable job related injuries and illnesses in 2016, with 78% occurring in private industry and 22% in state and local government sectors. The statewide all-industry rate of “lost time” cases (referred to in the survey as “days away from work, job transfer or restriction” [DART] cases), remained constant at 2.2 cases per 100 full time workers over the last four years surveyed, while the rate of days away from work cases (DAFW) has remained unchanged for the last eight years.

By occupation, the highest DAFW rates were highest in 2016 for cleaning and maintenance workers (284 cases per 10,000 workers), those performing installation and repairs (252 cases), and construction (243 cases).

Estimates for the California Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses are derived from a statistical sample of employers in the state. The SOII program is administered by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) in cooperation with participating state agencies. Surveyed employers report data as required by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Recordkeeping regulation (29 CFR 1904), 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 2015 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 to improve their health and safety programs. Employers and workers who have questions or need assistance with workplace health and safety programs can call Cal/OSHA’s Consultation Services Branch at 800-963-9424.

Complaints about workplace safety and health hazards can be filed confidentially with Cal/OSHA district offices. Employees with work-related questions or complaints may contact DIR’s Call Center in English or Spanish at 844-LABOR-DIR (844-522-6734).

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.

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