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Minnesota workplace injury rate stays at all-time low level

Minnesota's estimated workplace injury and illness rate for 2016 is at its lowest rate since the measurement started in 1973. According to the annual Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses, the state had an estimated 3.4 OSHA-recordable nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses per 100 full-time-equivalent (FTE) workers in 2016. The estimated rate for 2015 was 3.5 cases per 100 FTE workers.

The survey estimated Minnesota had 73,600 workers with OSHA-recordable nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses in 2016, compared to 75,000 estimated cases for 2015.

Minnesota's employment covered by the survey increased from 2.67 million in 2015 to 2.72 million in 2016.

"In the past decade, Minnesota has seen a 33 percent decrease in its rate of work-related injuries and illnesses," said Ken Peterson, Department of Labor and Industry (DLI) commissioner. "That's a lot less hurt—physically, emotionally and financially—for Minnesota's workers. Still, there is much to be done to ensure more Minnesotans go home safe and healthy each night."

For the survey, DLI collects injury and illness records from randomly sampled Minnesota employers in the private and public sectors (excluding federal agencies). Approximately 4,800 employers participated in the 2016 survey. State agencies and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) compile the nationwide survey data, which is the primary source of workplace injury and illness statistics at the state and national levels.

Nationally, an estimated 3,534,600 nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses were reported in private- and public-sector workplaces for 2016, resulting in a rate of 3.2 cases per 100 FTE workers.

Other results from the Minnesota survey

The industry divisions with the highest total injury and illness rates were construction (5.0 cases per 100 FTE workers); local government (4.8); and health care and social assistance (4.7).

An estimated 21,200 worker injuries, 1 cases per 100 FTE workers, had one or more days away from work after the day of injury. This rate was unchanged from 2015. Additional statistics are available about the characteristics of the cases with days away from work.

The median number of days of work disability for workers with one or more days away from work was five days. In comparison, the median number of days away from work was six days in 2015 and seven days in 2014.

Sprains and strains accounted for 38 percent of the injuries for workers with days away from work. The second-highest category was soreness and pain, accounting for 17 percent of the cases.

The back (19 percent) was the most commonly injured body part, followed by hands (14 percent) and knees (10 percent).

The most common injury events were being struck by objects or equipment and falls on the same level, each with 15 percent of the cases, followed by overexertion while lifting or lowering, with 11 percent.