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CONN-OSHA Quarterly

Volume No. 44
Winter 2006

Occupational Injuries and Illnesses in Connecticut—2004

 

Numbers—what do they tell us about the health and safety of Connecticut’s workforce?  Were we safer last year than the year before?  How did we compare with other states?  Which industries were the most hazardous?  These are some of the questions into which statistics on occupational injuries and illness can lend some insight.  This article gives a broad overview of last year’s data.  For a complete picture and detailed tables of data, please check our website:  http://www.ctdol.state.ct.us/osha/shstats.htm or for more information call (860) 263-6941.

 

In cooperation with the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Connecticut Labor Department Occupational Safety and Health Statistics Unit conducts two separate programs to track and analyze cases of occupational injuries and illness in the state.  The Annual Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses measures the rate and number of cases by industry and also collects detailed case and demographic data on those cases which involve one or more days away from work.  The Census of Occupational Injury (CFOI) program provides detailed information on every occupational injury fatality that occurs in Connecticut.  Together these programs provide the reliable statistical information necessary for researchers, safety professionals, government officials, employees and employers to control and minimize workplace hazards.


Rates and Totals

 

A total of 68,200 injuries and illnesses were reported in Connecticut’s private and public sector workplaces in 2004.  More meaningful than the raw numbers of cases, however, is the rate of injury and illness, which allows comparisons among industries, from year-to-year and among case types.  Overall, Connecticut had a rate of 5.2 cases per Published by the Connecticut Department of Labor, Project Management Office0 full-time workers in 2004, down from the 2003 overall rate of 5.5.  The private sector rate of 4.8 is identical to the 2004 national rate.  The rate varied widely among the  major industry sectors, ranging from Published by the Connecticut Department of Labor, Project Management Office.5 cases per Published by the Connecticut Department of Labor, Project Management Office0 equivalent full-time workers in Transportation and warehousing to 1.0 in Finance and insurance. The incidence rate comparisons between 2003 and 2004 by industry sector are presented in Table 1.

An examination of the more detailed industries with the Published by the Connecticut Department of Labor, Project Management Office highest rates of occupational injury and illness shows that the public sector continues to be the most hazardous.  The public sector had four of the ten highest rates with local government contributing the top two industries: fire protection, with a rate of 28.7 cases per Published by the Connecticut Department of Labor, Project Management Office0 equivalent full-time workers, and public works—street and highway, with a rate of 25.0.  The top ten industries are shown in Chart 1.  Another way of visualizing the relative hazardousness of an industry group is to compare the number of employees with the number of cases experienced by that industry classification.  Chart 2 graphically shows that the public sector (government), as well as the Goods Producing industries such as construction and manufacturing, had a higher percentage of cases than their share of employment.  The Service Producing industries such as finance, education and business services contribute a smaller percentage of injuries and illnesses than employment.


Who, What and Where

 

Detailed case and demographic data on cases with days away from work give us a clearer picture of who is getting injured, what types of injures and illnesses result and how the cases occur. Table 2 shows the occupations with the highest number of cases.  Though not intuitively considered a high-hazard occupation, nurses aides again top the list due to the prevalence of sprains and strains from lifting health care patients.  Chart 3 breaks out the percent distribution of cases involving days away from work by nature of injury and illness.  As usual, almost half of all these cases are sprain and strain injuries while carpal tunnel syndrome, the most frequently diagnosed occupational illness, accounted for less than two percent of cases with days away from work.  The severity of cases, as measured by median days away from work, varied widely among the various types of events.  The more common slips, contacts and overexertion's were not nearly as severe as repetitive motion cases, falls or transportation cases.


Fatal Occupational Injuries

 

As mentioned above, every traumatic injury case that results in the death of a worker in Connecticut is tracked and analyzed by the CFOI program.  Work-related fatal illnesses often occur years after an exposure has occurred and are difficult to link to specific work conditions.  Thus, they are not reported in the census.  In 2004 there were 54 work injury fatalities, 18 more than the year before.  Transportation accidents and falls were the major causes of these deaths, but assaults also had a major impact, claiming the lives of 12 Connecticut workers.  Despite a relatively even mix of male to female workers in Connecticut’s workforce, men accounted for 96% of the fatalities.  By age, employees in the 25 to 34 year-old category represented the largest number of deaths with 16 work-injury fatalities (30 percent).  Construction and extraction workers, the occupational category to lose the most workers, had 20 work-injury fatalities (37 percent), 13 of which were due to falls.

 

Connecticut began recording work-related deaths in 1992. Since then, the state has averaged 41 work-related deaths per year.  The greatest recorded loss was  experienced in 1998 with 57 deaths, followed by 55 deaths in 2000 and 54 deaths in 2004.  The increase in fatalities during these years cannot be attributed to any one event or cause.  The loss of even one life to a work injury is one too many.  However, when viewed from a statistical standpoint, Connecticut’s rate of occupational fatalities continues to fall well below the national average.  See Tables 3 and 4 for more details about Connecticut and U.S. occupational fatalities.
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  Connecticut Nonfatal Occupational Injuries and Illnesses - 2004

 

 

 

 

  Table 1. INCIDENCE RATES BY SECTOR AND CASE TYPES  2003 - 2004         

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Industry sector 2

Total recordable cases

Lost workday cases

Cases without lost workdays

 

Total

With days away from work3

 

from work

2003

2004

2003

2004

2003

2004

2003

2004

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   ALL INDUSTRIES, INCLUDING STATE AND 

5.5

5.2

3.1

2.8

1.9

1.9

2.5

2.4

 

LOCAL GOVERNMENT

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   PRIVATE INDUSTRY

5.1

4.8

2.9

2.6

1.7

1.6

2.2

2.2

 

Goods Producing

6.5

5.6

3.7

3.2

2.1

1.9

2.8

2.4

 

Natural resources and mining

8.5

6.6

5.7

4.4

2.9

1.3

2.8

2.2

 

Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting

9.3

7.1

6.2

4.7

3.2

1.2

3.1

2.4

 

Mining

3.4

4.4

2.6

2.9

(1)

2.0

(1)

(1)

 

Construction

7.1

6.4

3.7

4.0

2.9

3.2

3.5

2.3

 

Manufacturing

6.2

5.3

3.6

2.9

1.8

1.5

2.6

2.4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Service Providing

4.7

4.5

2.7

2.4

1.6

1.5

2.0

2.1

 

Trade, transportation, and utilities

6.8

6.6

4.1

3.8

2.5

2.4

2.6

2.7

 

Wholesale trade

6.7

5.7

4.5

3.5

2.3

1.9

2.2

2.2

 

Retail trade

6.1

6.1

3.2

3.2

2.1

2.1

2.9

2.9

 

Transportation and warehousing

.4

.5

7.8

7.3

4.7

4.4

2.6

3.2

 

Utilities

4.4

5.7

3.7

4.0

1.3

2.2

0.7

1.7

 

Information

2.2

2.5

1.6

1.6

1.1

1.2

0.6

0.9

 

Financial activities

1.3

1.3

0.6

0.6

0.5

0.5

0.7

0.8

 

Finance and insurance

0.9

1.0

0.3

0.3

0.3

0.3

0.6

0.7

 

Real estate and rental and leasing

3.5

3.2

2.1

2.1

1.7

1.9

1.4

1.1

 

Professional and business services

2.1

1.9

1.2

0.7

0.7

0.5

1.0

1.2

 

Professional, scientific, and technical services

1.4

1.3

0.6

0.5

0.4

0.4

0.8

0.8

 

Management of companies and enterprises

3.3

1.9

1.6

1.1

0.6

0.5

1.8

0.8

 

Administrative and support and waste 

2.5

3.0

1.7

0.8

1.2

0.7

0.8

--

 

management and remediation services

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Education and health services

8.0

7.2

4.6

3.8

2.5

2.3

3.4

3.4

 

Educational services

3.9

3.2

1.8

1.6

1.6

1.1

2.1

1.7

 

Health care and social assistance

8.8

8.1

5.2

4.3

2.7

2.5

3.7

3.7

 

Leisure and hospitality

3.2

3.2

1.4

1.4

1.3

1.2

1.8

1.8

 

Arts, entertainment, and recreation

2.9

3.7

1.0

1.9

0.9

1.4

1.9

1.8

 

Accommodation and food services

3.3

3.1

1.5

1.3

1.4

1.2

1.8

1.8

 

Other services

3.1

2.6

1.6

1.3

1.3

1.0

1.5

1.3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT

8.6

8.4

4.2

4.5

3.3

3.8

4.4

3.9

 

State Government

8.3

7.0

3.9

4.1

3.4

3.7

4.5

2.9

 

Local Government

8.7

9.0

4.3

4.6

3.3

3.8

4.4

4.3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(1) Fewer than 15 cases.

 

 

 

 

 

 

-- Indicates data not available.

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

Connecticut Nonfatal Occupational Injuries and Illnesses - 2004

  Table 2. NUMBER OF DAYS AWAY FROM WORK CASES BY SELECTED WORKER OCCUPATIONS AND INDUSTRY SECTOR

 

Occupation

Total

Public sector

Private
industry Total

  Total

24,780

6,190

18,590

  Nursing aides, orderlies, and attendants

1,330

40

1,290

  Laborers and freight, stock, and material

1,150

0

1,150

movers, hand

 

 

 

  Truck drivers, light and delivery services

1,090

0

1,090

  Police and sheriff's patrol officers

940

940

---

  Maintenance and repair workers, general

760

270

490

  Fire fighters

650

650

---

  Janitors and cleaners, except maids and

630

470

160

housekeeping cleaners

 

 

 

  Retail salespersons

620

0

620

  Correctional officers and jailers

580

580

---

  Truck drivers, heavy and tractor-trailer

530

---

530

  Stock clerks and order fillers

470

---

470

  Construction laborers

450

130

320

  Carpenters

4

---

4

  Emergency medical technicians and

380

0

380

paramedics

 

 

 

  Psychiatric aides

380

350

30

  Combined food preparation and serving

360

80

280

workers, including fast food

 

 

 

  Highway maintenance workers

3

3

---

  Automotive service technicians and mechanics

300

---

300

  Plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters

270

---

270

  Inspectors, testers, sorters, samplers,

270

---

270

and weighers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  Security guards

260

30

230

  Shipping, receiving and traffic clerks

240

---

240

  Landscaping and groundskeeping workers

220

50

170

  Food preparation workers

200

40

160

  

Connecticut Fatal Occupational Injuries - 2004

Table 3. EVENT OR EXPOSURE

 

 

 

EVENT OR EXPOSURE

FATALITIES

Number

Percent

TOTAL

54

0.0

 

 

 

Transportation Incidents

17

 31.5

Highway incidents

  7

 13.0

Worker struck by vehicle, mobile equipment

  5

   9.3

 

 

 

Assaults and Violent Acts

12

 22.2

Homicides

  8

 14.8

Self inflicted injuries

  3

   5.6

 

 

 

Falls

16

 29.6

Fall to lower level

16

 29.6

Fall from ladder

  5

   9.3

Fall from roof

  4

   7.4

Fall from scaffolding, staging

  4

   7.4

 

 

 

Contact with Objects and Equipment

  6

 11.1

Struck by object

  3

   5.6

  

Fatal Occupational Injuries 1992 - 2004

Table 4. CONNECTICUT AND U.S.

Year

CT

U. S.

Number

Rate per 0,000

Number

Rate per 0,000

 

 

 

 

 

1992

42

n/a

6,217

5.2

1993

31

n/a

6,331

5.2

1994

35

n/a

6,632

5.4

1995

32

n/a

6,275

4.9

1996

35

n/a

6,202

4.8

1997

32

2.0

6,238

4.8

1998

57

3.3

6,055

4.5

1999

38

2.3

6,054

4.5

2000

55

3.2

5,920

4.3

2001

41

2.4

5,915

4.3

2002

39

2.3

5,534

4.0

2003

36

2.1

5,575

4.0

2004

54

3.2

5,703

4.1

 

 

 

 

 

  n/a - Prior to 1997, annual fatality rates were not
  calculated on a state-wide basis.

 

Hazard Corner
The Seventh Firefighter

 

On a cold winter evening, a Connecticut municipal fire department responded to a fire at a retail business.  The incident commander assigned a six-person team to enter the structure and fight the fire.  Just as the team was entering the burning structure, a seventh member joined the team.  The incident commander was not notified that an extra person had joined the team.

 

During the suppression operations, the structures roof collapsed separating the seven firefighters.  Six of the team members were able to safely exit the building on their own.  The seventh member of the team became disoriented and was unable to exit the building.

 

The incident commander, believing that the interior fire fighting team consisted of six firefighters did not organize a rescue effort.  The seventh member exhausted his air supply and died.

As a result of this incident the following recommendations were made:

  • Develop, implement, and train all fire fighters in a system of fire scene accountability, which would account for all firefighters at all times,

  • Conduct interior structural fire fighting training at least quarterly,

  • Develop written procedures for firefighters who are expected to use self- contained breathing apparatus (SCBA).  This would include the use of the Personal Alert Safety System (PASS).

CONN-OSHA Training Update

 

Breakfast Roundtable Discussion Group-   Third Tuesday of every month  

These free 90-minute workshops discuss safety and health  issues in a supportive and informal environment.  The meetings cover subjects ranging from evacuation plans and fire extinguishers to air quality and ergonomics.  The roundtable meetings are held from 8:15 am to 9:45 am.   Pre-registration is required.  The location varies, so be sure to call concerning the discussion subject and the location.   You can request to be placed on an E-mail distribution list so you will be automatically notified each month as to the location and focus subject.

 

OSHA 300 Record keeping - What Needs to be Recorded  January Published by the Connecticut Department of Labor, Project Management Office, 2006   

The purpose of this workshop is to introduce the requirements and procedures related to the OSHA 300 Log.  The class will help develop skills to accurately report occupational injuries and illnesses.   Resources and reference materials will be provided.  The presentation will cover the recording requirements, including a discussion of the employee/employer relationship, which pre-existing cases can be limited in the OSHA forms, and  exceptions for some categories of injuries and illnesses.  In the Class you will learn:

  • What information you need to properly comply with the record keeping rules.

  • What the recording challenges are for needle stick injuries and tuberculosis.

  • How to address privacy protections for injured and ill workers.

  • What the electronic options are for completing OSHA forms.

Trenching and Excavation - March 7, 2006   Studies show that excavation work is one of the most hazardous types of work done in the construction industry.   This session delivers a thorough overview of 29 CFR 1926.650-652 including the role of the competent person.   The primary concern in excavation-related work is a cave-in.   Cave-ins are more likely to be fatal to the employees involved than other construction-related accidents.


Work Zone Safety
- April 4, 2006
    Building and maintaining roads can be dangerous.  Each year about 7,500 highway construction workers get hurt.  More than 80 highway construction workers are killed on the job.  The dangers can be minimized if you are made more aware of the hazards, and are provided with ways to avoid the hazards.  Basic guidelines for work zone traffic control and the requirements of Part VI of the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) with particular emphasis on short term sites on roads and streets in rural and small urban areas will be presented.

 

Classes are free and will be held at 200 Folly Brook Boulevard, Wethersfield, CT in Conference Room A from 9 am - 12 noon, unless otherwise noted.  To register for any of these sessions, call John Able at  (860) 263-6902 or send an email to able.john@dol.gov

Pre-registration is required. 

 

Visit www.ctdol.state.ct.us/osha/osha.htm for more training information.

Have you subscribed to the CONN-OSHA Quarterly yet? 

 

If you would like to receive the Quarterly via e-mail, contact us: jackie.maldonado@po.state.ct.us 

In the subject line type “subscribe” and in the body include the e-mail address to which you would like the Quarterly sent.  

If you have any questions, contact Catherine Zinsser at (860) 263-6942.


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CONN-OSHA Quarterly Index

Last Updated: March 01, 2017


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