2001 Numbers Show Decrease in Fla. Workplace Injuries, Illness

March 11, 2003

Private sector workplace injuries and illnesses in Florida decreased slightly in 2001, down 800 from 288,200 in 2000, according to the Florida Department of Financial Services (FDFS).

This statistic, among others, is the result of the Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses, an annual survey conducted by the FDFS, Division of Workers’ Compensation in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics. The survey provides estimates of the number and frequency (incidence rates) of non-fatal workplace injuries and illnesses. In Florida, more than 10,000 private sector employers participated in the survey by maintaining injury and illness logs during 2001.

The decline in Florida’s total case incidence rate and number of injuries and illnesses is consistent with the nation’s overall experience. Employers nationwide reported a nearly nine percent decrease in cases compared with the year 2000, reducing the case rate from 6.1 in 2000 to 5.7 in 2001. The number of injuries and illnesses reported in any given year can be influenced by changes in the level of economic activity, working conditions and work practices, worker experience and training, and the number of hours worked.

The services industry in Florida continues to employ the largest number of workers, adding 37,900 jobs or one percent to the state’s workforce in 2001 alone. The injury and illness rate for this industry rose slightly to 5.3 over the previous year’s rate of 5.2. In 2001, the services industry suffered 91,500 injuries and illnesses, of which 41,600 resulted in lost work days.

In 2001, the number of people employed in the manufacturing industry declined by 11,000, or two percent, from the previous year. Workplace injuries and illnesses in manufacturing declined by 32,800 cases, representing a 13.7 percent decrease or the second most dramatic decline in incidence rate compared with 2000. A nine percent decrease in the incidence rate shows that the decline in number of cases is not solely attributable to the decrease in employment. The mining industry occupied first place with a 19 percent decline in its incidence rate from 2000-2001.

Most major industrial divisions contributed to the overall decline in incidence rate. Two notable exceptions are agriculture, forestry and fishing, showing a 4.5 percent increase in its incidence rate from 6.7 in 2000 to 7.0 in 2001, and transportation and public utilities with an 11 percent increase in its rate from 6.3 to 7.0.

More information on the results of the study, as well as copies of associated tables are available on the department’s Web site at www.fldfs.com.

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