Private Sector Results – At Record Low

Oregon workers employed in the private sector during calendar year 1997 suffered work-related injuries and illnesses at a rate of 7.8 for every 100 full-time employees. The 1997 total cases incidence rate of 7.8 is the lowest ever recorded by the private sector in Oregon and remains unchanged from 1996. It is 15.2 percent lower than the average rate of 9.2 for the period 1988-1997.

The 1997 lost workday cases incidence rate fell to 3.6, the lowest since the start of the survey in 1972. The rate of nonfatal cases without lost workdays increased slightly to 4.1, the second lowest rate ever recorded. Compared to the 10-year average, the 1997 lost workday cases incidence rate decreased 20.0 percent while the rate of nonfatal cases without lost workdays decreased 12.8 percent.

Of the 84,814 total recordable cases in 1997, 46.9 percent resulted in lost worktime. An estimated 925,558 workdays were lost in Oregon’s private sector during 1997. This represents a 3.6 percent increase from the 893,241 workdays lost in 1996.

Industry lost workday cases rates

The record low private sector lost workday cases incidence rate of 3.6 is a 5.3 percent drop from the previous record low of 3.8. Four industry divisions—agriculture, forestry, and fishing; construction; manufacturing; and services—posted record lows in 1997. Retail trade matched its record low rate set in 1991. Finance, insurance, and real estate remained at its record low rate established in 1996.

The highest lost workday cases incidence rate of the industry divisions, 7.5, was recorded by the transportation and public utilities industry. Finance, insurance, and real estate reported the lowest rate of 0.6. Construction reported the largest percentage decrease from 1996, dropping 30.0 percent to 4.2. The next largest percentage decrease came from services, dropping 14.8 percent to 2.3. All other industries, except transportation and public utilities and wholesale trade, reported decreased or unchanged rates from 1996.

Public Sector Results

During 1997, the public sector reported a total cases incidence rate of 6.2, the second lowest ever reported in Oregon. This new rate represents a 5.1 percent increase from the record low of 5.9 set in 1996. State government recorded a total cases rate of 4.5, down 21.1 percent from the 1996 rate of 5.7 and a record low. Local government registered a rate of 6.9, up 15.0 percent from the 1996 rate of 6.0.

The 1997 public sector lost workday cases incidence rate of 2.2 is 15.4 percent below the 1996 rate of 2.6, and a record low. The 1997 rate consists of the state government lost workday cases rate of 1.9, and the local government rate of 2.4. The public sector logged an estimated 9,398 total recordable cases in 1997. Of these, 3,395 (36.1 percent) resulted in lost workdays. Lost workdays were estimated to be 74,110, up 6.5 percent from 69,618 days in 1996.

National Survey Results

The total cases incidence rate for the private sector nationwide was 7.1 in 1997, down 4.1 percent from 7.4 in 1996. The lost workday cases incidence rate decreased 2.9 percent to 3.3, while the incidence rate for nonfatal cases without lost workdays fell 7.3 percent to 3.8. The Oregon total cases incidence rate, lost workday cases incidence rate, and cases without lost workdays incidence rate exceed the national rates by 9.9, 9.1, and 7.9 percent, respectively.

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. To be consistent with other years, data from 1992 and 1993 were re-estimated using the Oregon Estimation System. Some industry rates may vary from those published earlier.

For further information, or to order the 1997 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 April 1999.
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