Department of Consumer & Business Services

Research & Analysis Section



Workers' Compensation Claims Characteristics

Calendar Year



The Workers' Compensation Division received 27,922 accepted disabling claims in 1997, a decrease of 467 claims from 1996. Employment increased by 62,000 workers. This resulted in a claims rate of 1.8 claims per 100 workers. This claims rate is a record low in Oregon.

Table 1

Note: Employment figures based on data from Oregon Employment Dept. Claims rates represent the number of claims per 100 workers. Disabling claims include fatal cases.

Of the 43 work-related fatalities recorded in 1997, 40 of the victims were men, and 3 were women. The youngest was a 16-year-old farmworker. The oldest was a 77-year-old truck driver.

Fig 1

Note: Excludes 5 claims in unreported industries. Because of rounding, percents may not sum to 100.0%.

Table 2

Sprains or strains of the back were the most common injury in 1997 accounting for 5,898 claims - or 21.1 percent - of the 27,922 claims accepted as disabling.

Table 3. Event resulting in injury

3,978 disabling claims were accepted in 1997 for falls to floors, walkways, or the ground, 3,278 for bodily reaction of the injured worker, and 2,862 for overexertion with containers.

Table 4

Note: The department adopted a revised coding system in 1996. Therefore, the distributions of nature, event and source codes are not always comparable to previous years' distributions.



body part man




Note: Excludes 415 claims with unreported occupations. Because of rounding, percents may not sum to 100.0%.



  • In 1997, 27,922 claims were accepted as disabling. The claims rate was 1.8 claims per 100 workers, a record low in Oregon.
  • Of the total 27,922 claims accepted as disabling, 8,784 (31.5 percent) were for women; 259 (0.9 percent) were for workers under age 18; and 303 (1.1 percent) were for workers aged 65 or over.
  • Occupational diseases comprised 13.4 percent of the accepted disabling claims.
  • Some 634 workers filed more than one injury or disease claim and had those claims accepted in 1997.
  • The average weekly wage at time of injury for 1997 claimants was $452.43 while the average weekly wage for all Oregon workers, excluding federal, was $541.26.
  • The mining industry had the highest claims rate (4.5), followed by the transportation and public utilities industries (4.3). The finance, insurance and real estate industry had the lowest rate (0.5).
  • Workers in their first year with an employer filed 10,272 claims, 36.8 percent of the total accepted in 1997.

OSHA info

Facts in this leaflet are excerpted from



If you have questions about the information contained in this document please contact by e-mail or phone:
Juli Ross-Mota Research Analyst, Research & Analysis Section, Information Management Division (503) 947-7359.
This document was originally published in November 1998.
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