Arizona’s occupational injury and illness rate was below average in 2012

The number of work-related injuries and illnesses in 2012 was down compared to previous years, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ (BLS) latest nonfatal work-related injury and illness report. BLS found Arizona’s occupational injury and illness rate to be 3.2 per 100 full-time employees during 2012, which was lower than the national average of 3.4, Business Insider reported. Overall, the national rate is declining year-over-year, with the average being 3.5 per 100 workers in 2011. 

The national rate
There was a total of 3 million nonfatal occupational injuries and illnesses reported in 2012 by private employers, with injuries accounting for 94.8%. Private sector employers had a rate of 3.2 cases per 100 full-time workers. Only 1.8 injury and illness cases per 100 workers resulted in workdays lost, position restrictions or job transfers.

Nationally, mid-sized companies were found to have the highest occurrence of occupational injuries and illnesses during the year.

Company size Nonfatal incidence rate per 100 workers
11 to 49 employees 3.0
50 to 249 workers 4.2
250 to 999 workers 3.6

State and local government employment was more hazardous, with public sector workers having 5.6 cases per 100 employees.

Arizona’s focus on safety pays off
According to the Arizona Division of Occupational Safety and Health (ADOSH), the agency conducted 1,117 compliance inspections during fiscal year 2011/12, issued 800 serious and repeat infractions and also 2,271 nonserious violations. The number of compliance inspections and violations rose last year compared to the previous fiscal year. In FY10/11, there were 895 inspections, 711 serious and repeat infractions and 2,060 nonserious violations.

While these numbers may seem to indicate a decline in safety among Arizona employers, ADOSH found the in-compliance rate rose. In FY10/11 the rate was 26.5%, while last year it was 31.6%. This is a significant improvement that may be a factor in Arizona’s below average 2012 occupational injury and illness rate.

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