Private Sector Results - Near Record Low
Oregon workers employed in the private sector during calendar year 1999 suffered work-related injuries and illnesses at a rate of 7.0 for every 100 full-time employees. The 1999 total cases incidence rate of 7.0 increased slightly compared to the record low rate of 6.9 in 1998. The 1999 rate is 16.7 percent lower than the average rate of 8.4 for the period 1990-1999.

The 1999 lost workday cases incidence rate rose slightly to 3.5, the second lowest rate since the start of the survey in 1972. The rate of nonfatal cases without lost workdays remained at the record low rate of 3.5 set in 1998. Compared to the 10-year average, the 1999 lost workday cases incidence rate decreased 14.6 percent while the rate of nonfatal cases without lost workdays decreased 18.6 percent.

Fig. 1. Occ. injuries and illness incident rates

Of the 78,068 total recordable cases in 1999, 50.1 percent resulted in lost worktime. An estimated 1,032,098 workdays were lost in Oregon’s private sector during 1999. This represents an 11.7 percent increase from the 923,754 workdays lost in 1998.

Industry lost workday cases rates
The near record low private sector lost workday cases incidence rate of 3.5 is a 2.9 percent increase from the previous record low of 3.4. Two industry divisions—retail trade and finance, insurance, and real estate—posted record lows in 1999.

Fig. 2. Lost workday cases rates

The highest lost workday cases incidence rate of the industry divisions, 6.2, was recorded by the transportation and public utilities industry. This represents a 34.8 percent increase from the 1998 rate, and the largest percentage increase of the industry divisions. Finance, insurance, and real estate reported the lowest rate of 0.4 and also reported the largest percentage decrease from 1998, dropping 33.3 percent from 0.6. The next largest percentage decrease came from retail trade, dropping 10.3 percent to 2.6. All other industries, except services and mining, reported increased rates from 1998.

Public Sector Results
The 1999 public sector total cases incidence rate matched the 1996 record low of 5.9. This rate represents a 1.7 percent decrease from the 1998 rate of 6.0. State government recorded a record low total cases rate of 4.4 in 1999, down 2.2 percent from the record low rate of 4.5 set in 1997. Local government matched the 1998 rate of 6.5 and is the second lowest rate ever reported in Oregon.

The 1999 public sector lost workday cases incidence rate of 2.6 is 7.1 percent lower than the 1998 rate of 2.8. The 1999 rate consists of the state government lost workday cases rate of 1.9, and the local government rate of 2.9. The public sector logged an estimated 9,425 total recordable cases in 1999. Of these, 4,093 (43.4 percent) resulted in lost workdays. Lost workdays were estimated to be 103,454, up 11.2 percent from 93,046 days in 1998.

National Survey Results
The total cases incidence rate for the private sector nationwide was 6.3 in 1999, down 6.0 percent from 6.7 in 1998, and a new record low. The lost workday cases incidence rate decreased 3.2 percent to 3.0, the lowest rate ever recorded. The incidence rate for nonfatal cases without lost workdays fell 5.7 percent to 3.3. The Oregon total cases incidence rate and lost workday cases incidence rate exceed the national rates by 11.1 and 16.7 percent, respectively. The Oregon cases without lost workdays incidence rate was 6.1 percent higher than the national figure. One reason Oregon rates are higher than national rates is the higher proportion of the Oregon workforce in hazardous industries.

Fig. 3. Comparison of Oregon and national rates

Data in this summary are based upon the annual Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) survey which collects data from a scientifically selected sample of employer establishments across the state. This should be distinguished from the data collected from workers’ compensation claims submitted to the department by insurers.

For further information, or to order the 1999 Oregon Occupational Injury and Illness publication, please call the Oregon Department of Consumer & Business Services, Research & Analysis Section at (503) 378-8254.


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This document was originally published in September 2001.
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