MN Workplace Injuries in 2010 Second-Lowest on Record

A new report estimates that the state's employees suffered 76,700 nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses last year, representing about 3.9 injuries per 100 full-time workers.

Workplace injuries at Minnesota businesses fell to the second-lowest rate on record last year, according to a report released Friday by the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry.

The department's annual Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses found that there were an estimated 76,700 nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses in 2010-down slightly from 78,100 in 2009 and down significantly from 104,100 in 2005.

The report found that workers suffered roughly 3.9 nonfatal workplace injuries for every 100 full-time workers on the job-the second-lowest rate since the agency began collecting injury data in 1972. The lowest rate was reported in 2009, when the state's work force experienced 3.8 cases per 100 workers.

In 2010, the state fared similarly to the national average of 3.8 injuries per 100 workers. In 2009, the national average was 3.9, compared to Minnesota's 3.8; in 2008, the country's average matched Minnesota's at 4.2.

“We are encouraged by these results,” Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry Commissioner Ken Peterson said in a statement. “They are a positive sign that more worksites continue to make employee safety and health an integral part of their day-to-day operations.”

Of the injuries experienced by Minnesota workers in 2010, an estimated 37,200 resulted in days away from work, job transfer, or restrictions following the day of the incident. The sectors with the highest total injury and illness rates were transportation and warehousing (5.8 cases per 100 workers), health care and social assistance (5.6 cases per 100 workers), and construction (5.3 cases per 100 workers).

Injury estimates are based on the records of a random sample of about 4,700 employers throughout the state. The sampling comprises businesses from the private and public sectors but excludes federal agencies. National data comes from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

In-depth tables, including data pertaining to individual industries, can be accessed here.