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SELECTED INDICATORS IN WORKERS’ COMPENSATION:   A REPORT CARD FOR CALIFORNIANS

In California state government, the top ten occupations with the most non-fatal injuries and illnesses are: correctional officers and jailers; psychiatric aides; police and sheriff’s patrol officers; maintenance and repair workers, general; janitors and cleaners, except maids and housekeeping cleaners; office clerks, general; fire fighters; executive secretaries and administrative assistants; first-line supervisors/managers of fire fighting and prevention workers.

In the local government, the top ten occupations with the most non-fatal injuries and illnesses are: police and sheriff’s patrol officers; janitors and cleaners except maids and house-keeping cleaners; fire fighters; maintenance and repair workers, general; teacher assistants, elementary school teachers, except special education; bus drivers, transit and inter-city; landscaping and grounds-keeping workers; correctional officers and jailers.

Truck drivers, heavy and tractor-trailer, construction laborers, farm workers, ground maintenance workers and police officers were the occupations with the most number of fatal injuries in 2004.  Transportation and material-moving occupations and construction and extraction occupations accounted for nearly half of the fatal injuries in 2005.  Transportation accidents were the number one cause of fatal injuries accounting for about 40 percent of fatal injuries in 2004 and 37 percent in 2005.   

Assaults and violent acts accounted for about 12.5 percent of fatal injuries in 2004 and 19 percent in 2005, and are a major cause of fatalities among: sales and related occupations; transportation and material-moving occupations; protective-service occupations; installation, maintenance and repair, and management occupations.

Establishment Size and Type

The lowest rate for the total recordable non-fatal cases in 2004 was experienced by the smallest employers.  Employers with 1 to 10 employees and 11 to 49 employees had incidence rates of 1.7 and 4.0 cases, respectively, per 100 full-time employees.  There was a 19 percent decrease in incidence rates for employers with 1 to 10 employees.  For employers with 11 to 49 employees, there was a 13 percent decrease in incidence rates compared to 2003.

Establishments with 250 to 999 and 1000 or more employees reported the highest rate of 6.8 and 6.6 cases per 100 full-time employees. In 2004, all establishments had a decrease in incidence rates compared to 2003.

Types of Injuries

Some types of work injuries have declined since 1995 in the private sector, while others have increased. The number of sprains and strains continued to decline from 1995, but these injuries remain by far the most common type of work injury accounting for about 39 percent of days-away-from-work cases in the private sector.  Cuts, lacerations, bruises, contusions, heat burns, carpal tunnel syndrome, tendonitis, chemical burns, and amputations have decreased from 1995-2004, with the biggest decrease, 69 percent, seen in tendonitis. From 1995 to 2004, the only injury categories that experienced an increase are multiple injuries.

In the private sector, contact with objects and equipment was the leading cause of days away-from-work injuries, cited in about 27.2 percent of days-away-from-work cases.  Overexertion was the second common cause of injury, accounting for about 21 percent of injuries.

In California state government, the two main causes of injury were overexertion and contact with objects and equipment accounting for about 14.7 percent of days-away-from-work cases in 2004 for each cause of injury. In local government, the number one cause of injury was overexertion, accounting for 17.9 percent of days-away-from-work cases in 2004.

The most frequently injured body part is the back, accounting for about 17.2 percent of the cases in state government and about 18.4 percent cases in local government.  In the private sector, back injuries account for 22 percent of non-fatal cases.

Demographics

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