Non-fatal workplace injuries and illnesses in Indiana remained at the lowest rate since 2009, according to the annual Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses report. The rate represents a continuing trend over the past 11 years, moving from 9.5 per 100 workers in 1996, to 4.3 for 2011.
Indiana’s four major industries – manufacturing, state and local government, health care and retail trade – drive the state’s overall rate. Three of the sectors are down or remain the same as last year (manufacturing, state and local government, and retail trade). The lone increase was in health care.
This is the third year the injury and illness rate has remained at 4.3, with improvements noted in a number of industries. The data demonstrates that Hoosiers continue to be safer at work with a decline in the injury and illness rate of 54 percent since 1996.
“The continued low rate of injuries and illnesses of Hoosier workers is good news for our employees and our state, and demonstrates that the safety and health of Hoosier workers continues to be a priority with government, businesses and employees,” said Lori A. Torres, commissioner of the Indiana Department of Labor.
While the overall rate has been stable, industries where IDOL has a particular safety focus saw improvements. The most significant declines were recorded in the industry rates for state and local government, which went down 10 percent from 2010, and in the retail trade sector where rates went down by 5 percent.
Transportation and warehousing, another major industry in Indiana, demonstrated a decline of 6 percent over the prior year. The rate in construction is 3.9 per 100, which is significantly below the state average of 4.3, but higher than in 2010.
The Indiana manufacturing sector, an area of significant effort by state labor officials, maintained its 5.2 per 100 workers rate despite an increase in sector employment of nearly 20,000 in 2011. Construction also had an increase in employment, accompanied with a slight increase in injuries (from 3.8 to 3.9).
Increases were recorded in agriculture (from 7.2 in 2010 to 9.5 in 2011), Mining (from 3.3 in 2010 to 4.7 in 2011), and health care (from 5.9 in 2010 to 6.3 in 2011). While the Department of Labor has little jurisdiction in the agriculture sector, a new safety campaign will be launched in late 2012 focused on the health care sector.
To read the 2011 SOII report, visit www.in.gov/dol/2438.htm.
Further information regarding injuries and illnesses in particular occupations, industries, worker characteristics and injury event types will be released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics in November.