A total of 246,000 nonfatal injuries and illnesses were reported in private industry workplaces in Texas during 2005, resulting in a rate of 3.6 cases per 100 equivalent full-time workers, according to the Texas Department of Insurance Division of Workers’ Compensation. The rate of injuries and illnesses declined slightly from 3.7 reported in 2004 and a rate of 4.0 in 2003.
The Texas rate remains below the national rate of 4.6 for 2005; the national rate for 2004 was 4.8. The Texas occupational injury and illness rate has been lower than the national rate since data collection for Texas began in 1990.
The 2005 injury and illness data is the latest available from the Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses conducted by the DWC in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
Workplace injury and illness rates vary widely among private sector industries.
The goods producing sector, which includes manufacturing industries, continued to report lower rates in 2005, while the construction industry’s rate increased 8 percent in 2005 after showing a 10 percent decline in 2004. Building finishing contractors reported the largest increase of 45 percent. Foundation, structure and building exterior contractors reported an 18 percent decline.
The service providing sector rate remained the same in 2005 after reporting a decline in 2004. The information industry reported the largest increase of 58 percent in 2005 after showing a 33 percent decline in 2004. Professional and business services rate remained the same in 2005 after reporting a decline in 2004. Leisure and hospitality’s rate increased an average of 5.5 percent each year since 2003.
Seven of the nine major industries reporting the highest nonfatal occupational injury and illness rates actually decreased an average of 8 percent from rates reported in 2004.
Air transportation reported the highest rate of 11.9 per 100 full-time workers in 2005, but was down 5 percent from 2004. The rate for couriers and messengers was down 11 percent.
Nonmetallic mineral production manufacturing increased 15 percent and general merchandise stores increased 22 percent.
The occupational injury and illness rates are based on a statistical sample of approximately 9,000 private firms in Texas. Beginning with 2003 data, the BLS survey began classifying injuries and illnesses using the 2002 North American Industry Classification System (NAICS). Data for prior years was classified under a different system.
The DWC collects survey data in order to assist employers, safety professionals, and policymakers in identifying occupational safety and health issues in the state. Likewise, the DWC’s Workplace & Medical Services provides various safety and health services to help reduce injuries and illnesses in the workplace through accident and illness prevention.
Services include: free safety and health consultations on Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations; regional and on-site safety training; free safety and health publications; free safety training video loans; and the Safety Violations Hotline.
For more information on these services, visit the TDI Web site at www.tdi.state.tx.us/wc/mr/division.html or call 800-687-7080.
In November, the DWC will release more in-depth case and demographic data about 2005 injury and illness rates. Additional Texas fatal and nonfatal occupational injury and illness data are available by contacting the Division’s Safety Information Systems at either 512-804-4659, or 512-804-4599 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Details about the national BLS injury and illness data can be found at www.bls.gov/iif/oshsum.htm.
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