The incidence of occupational injuries and illnesses in California remain at their lowest level in 13 years, according to occupational injury and illness data released by the California Department of Industrial Relations. The Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses (SOII) data reflect a total of 460,000 reportable injury and illness cases in 2014, down from a total of 468,400 cases in 2013. In 2013 and 2014, the rate for cases involving lost work-time, job transfer, or restriction-from-duty cases (collectively, “lost work-time cases”) held steady at approximately 265,000, while cases involving days away from work fell from 146,800 to 142,800. Overall, the incidence of nonfatal occupational injuries and illnesses in California remains at its lowest level in the past decade.

Notably, the SOII showed that new hires and younger workers in private industry have higher rates of injury. For example, one of every four workers whose injury or illness involved days away from work had been on the job less than a year. Also, teenagers aged 16 to 19 years suffer the highest incidence of days away from work compared to all other age groups. Sprains, strains and tears are the largest injury category involving days away from work.

We believe the SOII shows the impact of employers improving safety on the job and the importance of employers to continue to be pro-active in preventing workplace injuries. A safe workplace benefits all parties.