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For immediate release: February 15, 2015

Ohio workplace injuries and illnesses below national average

2013 survey shows five percent decrease from previous year

Recently released statistics from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) show non-fatal workplace injuries and illnesses in Ohio are below the national average. The 2013 Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses (SOII) found Ohio public and private employers combined for an incidence rate of 3.0 cases per 100 full-time workers compared to the national rate of 3.5. Ohio also saw a five percent drop in total estimated injuries and illnesses with 122,600 recordable cases in 2013 compared to 129,200 cases in 2012.

"There is nothing more important than getting our workers home safe at the end of each day, and Ohio's employers are clearly working hard to provide safer workplaces," said Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation (BWC) Administrator/CEO Steve Buehrer. "BWC offers a number of safety consulting services, all of which are available to employers at no additional charge. I encourage every employer to learn more about how to protect their employees and keep their workplaces as safe as possible."

The SOII summarizes statistics at both national and state levels and BWC has a cooperative agreement with BLS to administer SOII in Ohio. Each year the BLS selects more than 4,000 private and public employers in Ohio to participate in the survey. Results from the mandatory survey are intended to assist employers in assessing industry trends to address safety issues.

Highlights of the SOII data for Ohio's private and public sectors follows:

Ohio private industry data

  • The state's private employers had a lower incidence rate than all neighboring states with 2.9 cases per 100 full-time employees.
  • The healthcare and social assistance sector had the highest injury and illness rate. Other industries with high rates were agriculture, manufacturing, transportation/warehousing and wholesale trade.
  • Establishments with 50-249 employees had the highest injury/illness rate, while those with 1-10 employees had the lowest.
  • There were more injury/illness cases with more than one day away from work among men than women.
  • There were more recordable cases involving day(s) away from work among those within 45-54 years old than any other age group.
  • Back injuries were more prevalent than injuries to any other body part. However, injuries to the hands and knees were also prevalent.
  • Falls on the same level and overexertion in lifting were the most common events leading to an injury.
Ohio public industry data
  • Combined statistics for state and local governments show 15,900 total recordable cases reported for all industries.
  • 37% of the cases involved one or more days away from work, 11.9% of the cases involved one or more days of job restriction/transfer only and 51% were recordable cases with no lost time.
  • For both state and local government, there were more injuries/illnesses among women than men.
  • State government saw the most injuries/illnesses involving day(s) away from work among those 45-54 years old while local governments saw the most injuries/illnesses among those 55-64 years old.
  • Similar to the private industry, injuries to the back were more prevalent among public employees than any other body part.
Visit bwc.ohio.gov for more information and statistics from the 2013 SOII.

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