Wyoming Saw Little Change in Number of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses in 2011
This article summarizes the 2011 Wyoming Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses results. The data include estimates of incidence rates by industry and the nature of the injury or illness. Also included are selected worker demographics, such as age and gender. State and local government data are discussed briefly. An estimated 2,410 nonfatal occupational injury and illness cases with days away from work occurred in private industry in Wyoming in 2011, with an incidence rate of 3.6.
- Case of job transfer:
- An injured or ill employee was assigned to a job other than his or her regular job for part of the day other than the day of injury or illness.
- Case of restricted duty:
- An employee was kept from performing one or more routine functions (work activities the employee performed at least once per week) of his or her job, or was kept from working a full workday, or a licensed health care professional recommended either of the above.
- Cases with days away from work:
- Severe cases that counted the day after the injury or onset of the illness, which may or may not include days of job transfer or restriction. Up to 180 days away from work (and/or days of job transfer or restriction) are counted for each injury.
- Event or exposure:
- The manner in which the injury or illness was produced or inflicted, such as falls, overexertion, or repetitive motion.
- Incidence rate:
- Represents the number of injuries and illnesses per 100 full-time workers, calculated as (N/EH) x 200,000 where:
- N = number of injuries and illnesses
- EH = total hours worked by all employees during the calendar year
- 200,000 = base for 100 equivalent full-time workers (working 40 hours per week, 50 weeks per year).
- Mandatory survey:
- Participation by private sector employers is required by Public Law 91-596 by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Participation by public sector employers is required by law by Wyoming OSHA, as Wyoming is a State Plan State. If an employer receives a survey from the BLS, even if they are partially exempt by OSHA due to having less than 11 employees for example, they must still complete the survey.
- Nature of injury or illness:
- The physical characteristics of the disabling injury or illness, such as cuts, fractures, or sprains.
- Other recordable cases:
- Cases not involving days away from work or days of job transfer or restricted duty but requiring medical treatment beyond first aid. Other recordable cases include, for example, stitches, prescription medication, a concussion, loss of consciousness, medical removal from job site, musculoskeletal disorders, or other significant diagnosed injury or illness.
- Out of scope:
- An employer who did not have employees for the survey year or an employer whose employment size class or industry code changed.
- Part of body:
- The part of the body directly linked to the nature of injury or illness cited, such as back, finger, or eye.
- Relative Standard Error (RSE):
- A percentage of the estimate. The standard error defines a range (confidence interval) around the estimate. The approximate 95% confidence interval is the estimate plus or minus twice the standard error. If several different samples were selected to estimate the population value, the 95-percent confidence interval would include the true population value approximately 95 percent of the time.
- Source of injury or illness:
- The object, substance, exposure, or bodily motion that directly caused the disabling condition, such as chemical, vehicle, or machinery.
The Research & Planning (R&P) section of the Wyoming Department of Workforce Services annually conducts the Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses (SOII) for Wyoming in cooperation with the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) as part of a nationwide data collection effort. The survey data identify the estimated incidence rates (see Definitions) of injuries and illnesses at the industry level. Detailed characteristics of severe injuries and illnesses (those that result in days away from work) also are identified. For 2011, cases with job transfer or restriction for the following six private North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) sectors will also have demographic and injury/illness characteristics provided by employers:
- 238 – Specialty trade contractors
- 311 – Food manufacturing
- 444 – Building materials & garden equipment supplies dealers
- 481 – Air transportation
- 493 – Warehousing & storage
- 623 – Nursing & residential care facilities
Because it is the first year that data for cases with only job transfer or restriction days have been collected, there will not be any case characteristics or demographic data that are publishable. With future collected data, there will be publishable case characteristics.
The data for the cases with days away from work can be used by employers and safety awareness groups to focus on prevention. The data are also used by regulatory agencies for tracking injury and illness trends to target safety resources.
Wyoming had an estimated 2,410 severe occupational injury and illness cases in private industry in 2011. There were 2,510 cases in 2010. This is not a statistically significant decrease.
The total estimated incidence rate in Wyoming for all ownerships was 3.8 injuries and illnesses per 100 full-time employees in 2011. The private sector estimated incidence rate was 3.6. The rate for state and local government was 4.6 for 2011. For state government alone, the rate was 3.2 for 2011; for local government alone, the rate was 5.2.
Figures 1a and 1b show the top 10 industry sectors with high estimated incidence rates in Wyoming and the United States, respectively, for 2011. Only two of the 10 top industry subsectors nationally were also found in Wyoming's top 10 for 2011.
The relative standard error (RSE; see Definitions) computed by BLS was used to calculate the estimates, with a 95% confidence interval. The tables with the RSE's are available upon request from R&P.
Case and Demographic Data
The Table shows the number of nonfatal occupational injuries and illnesses by selected characteristics for Wyoming from 2008 to 2011. These data show only cases with days away from work; they do not include cases that resulted solely in job transfer or restricted duty or those that were other recordable cases. There appears to be a general downward trend in the number of cases for each category over the years.
In 2011, males were 55.5% of Wyoming's workforce (BLS, 2012). Of the total of more serious work-related injuries and illnesses in 2011, 71.4% involved males. This compares with the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries & Illnesses (CFOI) data showing that 96.6% of Wyoming CFOI fatalities in 2011 were males (CFOI, 2012). Females made up 44.5% of the workforce in Wyoming (BLS, 2012), but only 27.8% of workers who became more seriously injured or ill at work in 2011 were females1.
The percentage and number of age group populations by gender (BLS, 2012) in Wyoming's workforce in 2011 are as follows:
MALES - Percent and (Number) of age group populations who were employed:
- 25-34, 91.1% (37,000)
- 35-44, 87.8% (30,000)
- 45-54, 88.2% (33,000)
- 55-64, 72.6% (28,000)
FEMALES - Percent and (Number) of age group populations who were employed:
- 25-34, 69.3% (27,000)
- 35-44, 75.8% (24,000)
- 45-54, 76.6% (29,000)
- 54-65, 65.5% (25,000)
There are approximately the same numbers of people working in the age groups from 25 to 65, with males having more workers overall. The only age group with a noticeable increase in employment is the 55-64 age group, which has increased in number from 23,000 in 2006 to 28,000 in 2011 for males and from 19,000 to 25,000 in 2011 for females. R&P research has shown that the number of work place fatalities is related to changes in overall employment (Manning, 2010). This may also be true for nonfatal occupational injuries and illnesses.
Injury and Illness Characteristics
In 2011, in the trade, transportation, & utilities industry, an estimated 490 males and 160 females had cases with days away from work (see Figure 2). During that year, manufacturing had over seven times the number of males (150) than females (20) with cases resulting in days away from work. More females than males had cases with days away from work in the educational & health services industry (280 and 70, respectively). For the leisure and hospitality industry, in 2011 the same number of both males and females (120 each) had cases with days away from work.
Out of the major occupational groups, construction & extraction and transportation & material moving had a higher-than-average percentage (43% combined) of total workers with work-related injuries or illnesses in 2011 (see Figure 3). Far more males than females usually work in these occupational groups. Consequently, more males than females were injured in these types of occupations. These workers included construction laborers and truck drivers, heavy & tractor-trailer. However, more females than males were injured in the major occupational groups of healthcare support and personal care & service because more females than males were usually employed in these occupations. The highest percentage of injuries and illnesses by age group in 2011 was for workers age 25 to 34 (23.7%; see Figure 4).
For injuries resulting in days away from work, the largest percentage for nature of injury or illness was due to sprains, strains, and tears (45.6% in 2011; see Figure 5). Often the injuries were caused by falling, lifting, twisting and bending, standing or sitting, throwing, or reaching. This suggests that employers should place additional emphasis on sprain and strain prevention.
A number of changes in the case and demographic data have occurred due to the changes in the case and occupation coding manuals for this calendar year. A future article will outline those changes where no comparisons to earlier years' data can be made.
Background and Methodology
For this mandatory survey (see Definitions), 2,200 Wyoming private and 290 public sector (state and local government) employers were notified in December 2010 to keep records of their firms' work-related injuries and illnesses during calendar year (CY) 2011 using the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) 300 forms. Along with data from the original firms sampled, occupational injury and illness data for 202 employers (from the mining, except oil & gas, and railroad industries) were added from administrative records developed during required incident reporting provided to BLS by two federal agencies: the U.S. Department of Labor, Mine Safety & Health Administration (MSHA) and the U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Railroad Administration (FRA). In January of 2012, public and private employers were sent a pamphlet describing how to transfer data from the OSHA 300 form to questionnaires available on the Internet or by e-mail.
Employers were asked to respond within 30 days. Two subsequent mailings were sent to non-respondents to increase response rates, after which attempts were made to contact these employers by phone to acquire the information. Employers were also contacted to verify or correct data. The data collection periods lasted approximately seven months. After the data collection periods, data and results were reviewed by regional and national BLS staff and incidence rates calculated.
Between 10.0% and 11.0% of the 2,700 original sampled units were determined to be out of scope, had gone out of business since the sample was drawn, had a duplicate record, or otherwise did not meet the criteria for inclusion in the survey. Of the remaining sampled and BLS-provided employers, 92% in 2011 provided useable responses for the survey.
Data were reported by employers on the basis of a single incident or occurrence. If an employee experienced more than one nonfatal work-related injury or illness during the calendar year, each incident was reported separately and is referred to as a case. If an incident injured more than one employee, each employee was reported separately on the questionnaire. To be categorized as a recordable case, an injury or illness must have required medical treatment beyond first aid (for additional information see the OSHA Recordkeeping Handbook online at http://www.osha.gov/recordkeeping/handbook/index.html#1904.5).
Data reported by employers to Worker's Compensation has a higher number of work-related injuries and illnesses due to having different definitions and requirements than the SOII does. R&P provides data on the number of Worker's Compensation cases by quarter and historically which can be found at: http://doe.state.wy.us/LMI/safety.htm. Due to the discrepancies in the numbers of work-related injuries and illnesses reported by both Worker's Compensation and the SOII, there has been and continues to be research into this undercount. Information on the undercount can be found at: http://www.bls.gov/iif/oshfaq1.htm#q02.
The BLS produces the SOII incidence rate estimates from the gathered data. Incidence rates by industry indicate the number of nonfatal occupational illnesses or injuries per 100 full-time employees. The cases deemed the most serious are those which involve days away from work (DAFW). The BLS counts up to a cap of 180 days away from work per case, even though there are cases with more days. The number of cases with days of restricted duty or job transfer (DJTR) are counted in the summary of injuries and/or illnesses. DAFW cases associated with employees who do not require time off work beyond the day of injury are not included as DAFW cases, but they may need to be included in the number of other recordable cases. Also counted in the summary of injuries and/or illnesses are the number of other recordable cases, which are cases requiring medical treatment beyond first aid but with no lost time, restricted duty, or job transfer days.
From 2010 to 2011, Wyoming experienced essentially no change in the number of work-related injuries and illnesses resulting in days away from work for private industry. Overall, males continued to experience work-related injuries and illnesses more frequently than females. This was likely due, in part, to higher ratios of males to females employed in industries with higher incidence rates; the exceptions were educational & health services and leisure & hospitality. More detail on 2011 data, as well as historical data and further documentation are available at http://doe.state.wy.us/LMI/OSH/toc.htm. For more information, contact Valerie A. Davis at (307) 473-3838 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries and Illnesses, Wyoming. (2012). Retrieved December 16, 2012 from http://doe.state.wy.us/LMI/CFOI/toc.htm
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Division of Local Area Unemployment Statistics. (2012, March). Employment status of the civilian noninstitutional population by sex, age, race, Hispanic or Latino ethnicity, and marital status, 2011 annual averages. (Preliminary 2011 data on employment status by state and demographic group). Retrieved December 16, 2012, from http://www.bls.gov/opub/gp/pdf/gp11_14.pdf
Manning, P. (2010). Employment change and impacts on workplace fatalities in Wyoming. (August, 2010). Wyoming Department of Employment, Research & Planning. Retrieved November 10, 2012 from http://doe.state.wy.us/LMI/safety/CFOI_Reg_Model_2010.pdf
1Data are not available to determine if the remaining 0.8% of workers who became injured or ill in 2011 were males or females.