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Florida Workplace Injuries and Illnesses Decrease Slightly in 2001


CONTACT: Tami Torres
(850) 413-2842

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TALLAHASSEE—Private sector workplace injuries and illnesses in Florida decreased slightly in 2001, down 800 from 288,200 in 2000.

This statistic, among others, is the result of the Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses, an annual survey conducted by the Florida Department of Financial Services, Division of Workers' Compensation in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics. The survey provides estimates of the number and frequency (incidence rates) of non-fatal workplace injuries and illnesses. In Florida, more than 10,000 private sector employers participated in the survey by maintaining injury and illness logs during 2001.

The decline in Florida's total case incidence rate and number of injuries and illnesses is consistent with the nation's overall experience. Employers nationwide reported a nearly nine percent decrease in cases compared with the year 2000, reducing the case rate from 6.1 in 2000 to 5.7 in 2001. The number of injuries and illnesses reported in any given year can be influenced by changes in the level of economic activity, working conditions and work practices, worker experience and training, and the number of hours worked.

The services industry in Florida continues to employ the largest number of workers, adding 37,900 jobs or one percent to the state's workforce in 2001 alone. The injury and illness rate for this industry rose slightly to 5.3 over the previous year's rate of 5.2. In 2001, the services industry suffered 91,500 injuries and illnesses, of which 41,600 resulted in lost work days.

In 2001, the number of people employed in the manufacturing industry declined by 11,000, or two percent, from the previous year. Workplace injuries and illnesses in manufacturing declined by 32,800 cases, representing a 13.7 percent decrease or the second most dramatic decline in incidence rate compared with 2000. A nine percent decrease in the incidence rate shows that the decline in number of cases is not solely attributable to the decrease in employment. The mining industry occupied first place with a 19 percent decline in its incidence rate from 2000-2001.

Most major industrial divisions contributed to the overall decline in incidence rate. Two notable exceptions are agriculture, forestry and fishing, showing a 4.5 percent increase in its incidence rate from 6.7 in 2000 to 7.0 in 2001, and transportation and public utilities with an
11 percent increase in its rate from 6.3 to 7.0.

Below are additional highlights of the survey's findings. Copies of each table are available on the department's website at

2001 Results:

· Among the industry divisions, total case incidence rates* ranged from a high of 7.8 in Construction to a low of 2.3 in Finance, Insurance and Real Estate
(Table 1: ).

· Total injury and illness lost workday case incidence rates ranged from 4.3 in Transportation and Public Utilities to 0.9 in Finance, Insurance and Real Estate
(Table 1: ).

· Days away from work incidence rates ranged from a high of 2.8 in Construction to 0.6 in Finance, Insurance and Real Estate
(Table1: ).

· Of the total 287,400 non-fatal cases, 274,600 were occupational injuries, while 12,800 were reported as occupational illnesses
(Table 2: ).

· Of the total number of cases, 77,800 were serious enough to require one or more days away from work beyond the day of injury or illness. There were 136,300 cases that required either days away from work or restricted work activity or both. There were 151,100 recordable cases that required no days away from work
(Table 2: ).

· Incidence rates by employment size were lowest for smaller size establishments (1 to 10 employees). Establishments employing 50 to 249 workers experienced the highest incidence rate
(Table 3: ).

· Several industries reported an increase in total incidence rates from 2000 to 2001. These include Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing; Transportation and Public Utilities; and Services
(Table 5: ).

*These results represent the number of injuries and illnesses expressed in terms of 100 full-time workers. The total number of OSHA recordable cases is used to determine the total case incidence rate. Days away from work cases are cases in which the injured or ill worker misses one or more days away from work beyond the day of injury. Lost workday cases involve days away from work, days of restricted work activity, or both, and are used to calculate the lost workday incidence rates.