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CONN-OSHA Quarterly

Volume No. 52
Winter 2008

 

Connecticut’s 2006 Injury and Illness Rates
By Erin Wilkins, Research Analyst

How safe is Connecticut’s workforce?

Has the safety and health of the workplace improved from last year? Which industries are the most hazardous? Identifying hazards is the first step in preventing injuries and illnesses. The Connecticut Department of Labor, in cooperation with the Bureau of Labor Statistics, conducts two separate programs to track and analyze cases of occupational injuries and illnesses. The data collected by these programs are utilized by researchers, employers, safety and health professionals and others to identify workplace hazards; develop and prioritize training programs; and develop or redesign tools and equipment in order to address, and hopefully eliminate, workplace hazards.

 

Non-Fatal Injuries and Illnesses
The annual Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses measures the number of work-related injuries and illnesses. Detailed demographic, incident, and industry data is collected on cases involving one or more days away from work. In 2006, a total of 69,500 injuries and illnesses were reported in Connecticut’s public and private sector workplaces. The number of cases decreased from a total of 74,300 in 2005. This 6% drop in the number of cases over the year was offset by a 1% slump in the number of hours worked from 2005 to 2006.

 

More meaningful than the raw numbers of cases is the rate of injury and illness, which allows for comparisons among industries, years, and case types. Connecticut had a rate of 5.2 cases per Published by the Connecticut Department of Labor, Project Management Office0 equivalent full-time workers in 2006, ranging from 0.9 in Finance and insurance to 7.9 in Construction as well as State and Local Government. The total recordable case rate for 2006 was lower than 2005’s rate of 5.5 injuries and illnesses per Published by the Connecticut Department of Labor, Project Management Office0 equivalent fulltime workers. The private sector rate was 5.0 in 2005 and 4.8 in 2006.

 

Table 1

 

Connecticut Public Sector
The incidence rate for Connecticut’s state and local government employees was measured at 7.9 cases per Published by the Connecticut Department of Labor, Project Management Office0 equivalent full-time workers in 2006, down significantly from the rate of 9.2 registered in 2005. Local municipal government operations contributed Published by the Connecticut Department of Labor, Project Management Office,200 occupational injuries and illnesses to the state-wide total and had a rate of 8.7 cases per Published by the Connecticut Department of Labor, Project Management Office0 equivalent full-time workers. State government employees, meanwhile, suffered 3,400 injuries and illnesses for a rate of 6.2. The rate of total recordable cases in the public sector is significantly higher than the private sector rate of 4.8 primarily due to hazardous occupations unique to the public sector such as police officers and firefighters. Overall, the public sector contributed 13,600 of Connecticut’s 69,500 work-related injuries and illnesses (20%) while providing 14% of the employment.

 

Chart 1

 

National Rates and Totals

A total of 4.1 million nonfatal injuries and illnesses were reported in private industry workplaces during 2006, resulting in a rate of 4.4 cases per Published by the Connecticut Department of Labor, Project Management Office0 equivalent full-time workers, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor. The rate of injuries and illnesses declined from 4.6 cases per Published by the Connecticut Department of Labor, Project Management Office0 equivalent full-time workers in 2005, and is the lowest rate recorded since the inception of the Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses in 1972. Approximately 2.1 million injuries and illnesses were cases with days away from work, job transfer or restriction; that is, they required recuperation away from work, transfer to another job, restricted duties at work, or a combination of these actions. The remaining 2.0 million injuries and illnesses were other recordable cases that did not result in time away from work. The incidence rate for cases with days away from work, job transfer or restriction was 2.3 cases per Published by the Connecticut Department of Labor, Project Management Office0 workers; the rate for other recordable cases was 2.1. Both of these rates decreased by 0.1 cases per Published by the Connecticut Department of Labor, Project Management Office0 equivalent full-time workers from 2005.

 

Table 2

 

Connecticut's Highest Rate Industries

An examination of the 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. State and local government operations had the six highest rates: local government waste management and remediation services (32.7 cases per Published by the Connecticut Department of Labor, Project Management Office0 equivalent full-time workers), local government fire protection (23.9), state government hospitals (23.1), local government police protection (20.5), local government public works – street & highway (19.0), and state government ambulatory health care services (14.7). These were followed by private sector plumbing, heating and air-conditioning contractors (13.7), state government nursing and residential care facilities (13.6), and local government housing authorities (13.4). Private sector primary metal manufacturing (12.9) rounds out the top ten list.

 

“DART” Cases

More than half of the 69,500 cases in 2006 (36,Published by the Connecticut Department of Labor, Project Management Office0) were cases involving days away from work, restriction or job transfer. These cases required recuperation away from work, transfer to another job, restricted duties at work, or a combination of these actions. Of these cases, the majority (22,900) involved days away from work with or without job transfer or restriction while the remainder (13,300 cases) involved transfer or restriction only.

 

Injuries and Size-Class

Of the 69,500 nonfatal injuries and illnesses in 2006, 65,700 (95%) were traumatic injury cases as opposed to the more latent occupational illness cases. Injury and illness rates are generally higher for mid-sized establishments employing 50 to 249 workers than for smaller or larger establishments. However, this pattern does not hold within certain industry divisions.

 

Illnesses

There were about 3,800 newly reported cases of occupational illnesses in Connecticut in 2006, just over 5% of the total number of injuries and illnesses reported statewide. The manufacturing sector (1,200), followed by the education and health services sector (800), and state and local government (600) contributed the bulk of the illness cases. These three sectors combined accounted for 2,600 occupational illnesses in 2006, or 68% of the total.

 

Fatal Occupational Injuries

Connecticut began recording work-related deaths in 1992 as part of the Bureau of Labor Statistic’s program, the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI). Since then, 611 workers in Connecticut have lost their lives to work related injuries; 38 of those deaths occurred in 2006.

 

In 2006, work injuries in America cost 5,703 lives nationwide. This translates into a rate of 3.9 deaths per Published by the Connecticut Department of Labor, Project Management Office0,000 workers. The most dangerous occupations have rates up to thirty-six times the national average. In 2006, fishers and related fishing workers experienced a rate of 141.7 deaths per Published by the Connecticut Department of Labor, Project Management Office0,000 workers, followed by aircraft pilots and flight engineers with a rate of 87.8, logging workers with a rate of 82.1, and structural iron and steel workers with a rate of 61.0. Since much of Connecticut’s employment is in low risk industries and occupations, the state has consistently maintained a fatality rate below the national average. For 2006, Connecticut had a fatal work injury rate of 2.2 per Published by the Connecticut Department of Labor, Project Management Office0,000 workers.

 

The leading cause of 2006’s work-related fatal injuries in Connecticut, as well as the nation, was transportation accidents. These accidents, which include automobile accidents, construction zone workers struck by vehicles, and workers struck by tractors or other equipment, claimed 15 lives in Connecticut and 2,413 lives nationwide. The assaults/violent acts category was second, claiming ten lives in Connecticut; these deaths were evenly divided between homicides and suicides. Contact with objects and equipment, which includes trenching cave-ins, caught in running machinery, and struck by falling objects, followed with six deaths. Falls from ladders, scaffolding, staging, or roofs claimed an additional four lives.

 

Seventy-four percent of Connecticut’s work injury fatalities were wage and salary workers; the remaining twenty-six percent were self employed. Thirty-four percent were in the 45 to 54 age group, followed by twenty-six percent in the 25 to 34 age group. Twenty-five of Connecticut’s work injury victims were Caucasian, followed by seven Hispanic or Latino victims, and four African-American victims. While employment is fairly evenly divided by gender, men overwhelmingly account for work-injury fatalities. In 2006, men represented fifty-two percent of Connecticut employment but 84 percent of work-injury fatalities. Nationally, work-related homicides and transportation incidents consistently claim a higher percentage of women’s lives.

 

All employers, regardless of their industry or company size, are required to report all workplace fatalities to OSHA within eight hours by calling 1-800-321-OSHA or by visiting a local OSHA office. This includes heart attacks, suicides, and latent illnesses.


To help companies operate their business as safely as possible, the Labor Department offers a no-cost consultation service with the goal of identifying existing or potential safety and health factors; more information may be viewed at www.ctdol.state.ct.us/osha/consulti.htm or by calling (860) 263-6900. Detailed statistics on work-related injuries and illnesses is published by the Occupational Safety and Health Statistics Unit and may be viewed online at www.ctdol.state.ct.us/osha/shstats.htm.

 

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Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program (SHARP)

 

In November 2007, Smurfit-Stone Containerboard Corporation, Montville, Connecticut was awarded the Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program (SHARP) title. This award recognizes small, high-hazard employers who operate an exemplary safety and health management system. This distinction has been earned by only eight other state companies. In addition to the recognition, the award provides the bonus of being exempt from programmed OSHA inspections for one year. “This is truly a marvelous achievement,” said Richard Palo, director of Connecticut OSHA.


Connecticut companies who have already achieved SHARP status and have renewed their awards include: CAS Medical Systems; Branford, Sanford & Hawley, Avon; Hi-Tech Profiles, Pawcatuck; and Cooper-Atkins Corporation, Middlefield.

 

Sharp 1 Sharp 2

 

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Hazard Corner

 

Work Place Violence: Robberies do result in Fatalities

Homicides are consistently one of the top four causes of work-related fatalities. In 2004, a 25-year-old pizza shop manager working in Connecticut lost his life in a robbery. With six years experience with the pizza chain, he had started working at this location six months earlier. The store’s security system required employees and customers to be buzzed in and out after dark. Two men, wearing bandanas across their faces, hid outside and waited for an opportunity to enter the store. At approximately 1:00 a.m, a delivery driver left and they barged in through the door. After robbing the store and the employees, they fled on foot. The manager chased them into the parking lot and fought with one of them. During the struggle, the manager was shot twice in the chest. He died two days later from his injuries.

 

While OSHA has no specific regulations for preventing occupational homicide, the OSHA General Duty Clause requires employers to provide a safe and healthful working environment. Employers in high-risk establishments and occupations need to make security a priority. Examples of high-risk workplaces include taxicab establishments, liquor stores, gas stations, detective/protective establishments, grocery stores, jewelry stores, hotels/motels, and eating/drinking places. High-risk occupations are taxicab drivers/chauffeurs, law enforcement officers (police officers/sheriffs), hotel clerks, gas station workers, security guards, stock handlers/baggers, store owners/managers, and bartenders. Safety precautions to prevent homicides and assaults include:

  • Employees are more likely to be harmed if the robber is startled or surprised. Calmly comply with the robber’s demands. Do not chase or try to apprehend the robber.
     

  • Make high-risk areas visible to more people. Look for possible hiding places and add lighting, remove shrubbery, or otherwise change the area to make it less secure to robbers.
     

  • Use drop safes to minimize cash on hand, carry small amounts of cash, and post signs stating that limited cash is on hand.
     

  • Install, maintain, and use surveillance cameras, silent alarms, or individual panic buttons.
     

  • Increase the number of staff on duty or close the establishment during high-risk hours (late at night and early in the morning).
     

  • Provide training in conflict resolution and nonviolent response.
     

  • Provide bullet-proof barriers or enclosures.
     

  • Have police check on workers routinely.

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CONN-OSHA Training Update

 

Breakfast Roundtable

This discussion group meets the third Tuesday every month from 8:15 am to 9:45 am. Pre-registration is required. To be placed on the e-mail distribution list, contact John Able at able.john@dol.gov


OSHA Recordkeeping - January 14, 2008

This session will help you fill out the OSHA Log of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses (Form 300) accurately and correctly. This class will be held from 9:00-12:00 noon.


Trenching & Excavation Safety -  April 1

This workshop will provide an overview of 29 CFR 1926.650-652 Excavations, including the role of the competent person. The session is designed to assist participants in identifying hazards at their workplace, especially those associated with excavations and related activities.


Construction Site Safety - April 4

This session will provide an overview of four areas of concern on the construction site: fall protection, scaffolding and ladders, electrical hazards and trenching safety. This class will be held from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m.
 

Classes are free and held at 200 Folly Brook Boulevard, Wethersfield, CT in Conference Room A/B from Published by the Connecticut Department of Labor, Project Management Office am - 12 noon, unless otherwise noted in the class description. To register, contact John Able at (860) 263-6902 or able.john@dol.gov. Pre-registration is required. For more training information, visit www.ctdol.state.ct.us/osha/osha.htm

 

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Connecticut Department of Labor - OSHA 38 Wolcott Hill Road Wethersfield, CT 06Published by the Connecticut Department of Labor, Project Management Office9 To receive the Quarterly electronically, contact ggregory@list.state.ct.us. In the subject line type “subscribe” and provide your e-mail address. You may also reach us by phone at (860) 263-6900 or visit our website at http://www.ctdol.state.ct.us/osha/osha.htm

 

Fatality & Casualty Reporting State & Town: CONN-OSHA (860) 263-6946 (local) or 1-866-241-4060 (toll-free) Private Employers: Report to Federal OSHA at 1-800-321-OSHA(6742)

CONN-OSHA Quarterly Index

Last Updated: March 01, 2017


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