Volume No. 52
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
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
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.
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.
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
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
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
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.
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.
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
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
Provide bullet-proof barriers or enclosures.
Have police check on workers routinely.
CONN-OSHA Training Update
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
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
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 email@example.com. Pre-registration is required. For more
training information, visit
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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
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)
March 29, 2021