According to estimates from the Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses (SOII) conducted by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and the California Department of Industrial Relations (DIR), over 470,000 nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses were reported by private-sector and public-sector employers in California in 2015.
However, California’s overall incidence rate of nonfatal occupational injuries and illnesses remains unchanged at 3.8 cases per 100 workers for full-time employees, the lowest rate in over a decade. There has been a steady decline in injury rates over the last decade. In 2002 the rate was 6 cases per 100 workers for full-time employees.
Of the nonfatal reportable job-related injuries and illnesses in 2015, 77 percent occurred in private industry and 23 percent in state and local government. Reported Days Away From Work incidence rates (injuries and illnesses per 10,000 workers) differ substantially between private-sector and government workers, whether state or local. In 2015, the reported rate of DAFW injury or illness among government workers was approximately twice that of private-sector employers. The Report does not speculate as to the reason for this discrepancy.
The Days Away From Work incidence rate for California private sector industries remained at 1.0 case per 100 workers, equaling the national rate. Nearly 83,000 DAFW injuries, or 76 percent of those in private industry, occurred in service-sector industries. The remaining 26,000 injuries, or 24 percent, occurred in goods-producing industries.
In 2015, employer reports for California show that occupational injuries are more prevalent and the rate of injuries per 100 higher among males than among females. Sixty percent of reported cases with days away from work (DAFW) were for male workers, with 40 percent for females. The incidence rate per 100 workers was also approximately 5 percent higher among males than females. Compared to 2014, the rates for both working men and women dropped in 2015 in private sector.
In 2015, 28 percent of reported Days Away From Work work injuries in private industry in California occurred among workers with less than a year of tenure. At goods-producing firms in the private sector, nearly 35 percent of DAFW injuries and illnesses occurred within a year of hire. In manufacturing, 25 percent of those injuries occurred within a year of hire; in construction and natural resources, however, 45 percent of those injuries occurred within a year of hire. Notably, in the natural resources and mining sector, nearly one-quarter of DAFW cases occurred during the first three months of work. The report does not speculate as to the reason why new hires have more injuries than long term workers.
The highest private-sector injury and illness rate in 2015 is among twenty- to twenty-four-year-olds, with the lowest injury or illness rates at the other end of the age spectrum, those above age sixty-five. Compared to 2014, the DAFW injury and illness incidence rate in 2015 for private-sector employers dropped among sixteen- to nineteen-year-olds, twenty-five- to thirty-four-year-olds and for those age forty-five to fifty-four, while it rose or stayed the same for other age groups.
Transportation and material-moving occupations, food service workers, building and ground maintenance, and office and administrative support work were the occupational groupings with the largest number of lost-time injuries and illnesses. Service occupations also showed high number of injuries and illnesses with reported days away from work in 2015.
Among private-sector workers, the highest number of lost-time injuries were caused by overexertion and bodily reaction, by contact with an object or piece of equipment, and by falls, trips, and slips. Other major causes of lost-time injuries and illness included exposure to harmful substances or environments, transportation incidents and workplace violence.