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Workplace Accident Rates Vary, According to BLS

According to data from the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the rate of workplace injury varies from state to state, even within the same industries.

The workplaces that had the highest rates of serious injuries related to workplace safety in 2011 are:

  • Amusement parks
  • Slaughterhouses
  • Beverage manufacturers
  • Foundries
  • Nursing homes and other care facilities
  • Beer, wine and alcoholic beverage wholesalers
  • Motor vehicle body and trailer manufacturers
  • Hog and pig farms
  • Motor vehicle manufacturers
  • Senior care facilities
  • Egg and poultry producers

States with the most incidences of worker injuries that resulted in job restriction, absence or transfer were:

  • Maine
  • California
  • Connecticut
  • Kansas
  • Nevada
  • New Mexico
  • Oklahoma
  • Wisconsin

These states had average injury rates higher than the national average of .07 injuries or illnesses per 100 workers.  Other states with above-average injury rates were Connecticut, Kansas, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Wisconsin, Alabama, Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee and Washington. Data was not available for Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Mississippi, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Ohio, Rhode Island and South Dakota. New York's injury rate was below average.

One can determine state-by-state variations in injury rates within industries from BLS data.  For example, the highest injury rate in the motor vehicle manufacturing group was in North Carolina, with Tennessee having the lowest injury rate in this industry sector.  Michigan, with the most motor vehicle manufacturing plants in the United States, had an average injury rate.

The study also shows the variation between locales within the same industry group. For example, serious injury rates in the motor vehicle manufacturing industry group ranged from 1.1 in Tennessee to 3.5 in North Carolina. Michigan equaled the national average at 2.2.

Source: Insurance Journal,  "Rates for Same Workplace Injuries Vary by State: Study," Aug. 13, 2013.

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