BATON ROUGE, La. – There were 22.9 thousand nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses reported in Louisiana by private industry employers in 2020, down from 24.1 thousand in 2019, according to a recent Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) survey. This data is an estimate from the Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses (SOII).
The incidence rate of work-related injuries and illnesses among Louisiana’s private-sector employers was fundamentally unchanged in 2020 with 1.8 incidents per 100 full-time equivalent (FTE) workers, compared to 1.7 in 2019. The national private sector incidence rate was 2.7 for 2020. Louisiana had one of the lowest incidence rates among 41 participating states, trailing only the District of Columbia for the rate of nonfatal work-related injuries and illnesses.
“We are proud to be recognized as one of the safest places to do business year after year,” said Louisiana Workforce Commission Secretary Ava Cates. “A safe and healthy workforce is key for growing Louisiana’s economy and making it one of the best places to live, work, and grow a business.”
Occupational injuries and illnesses collected in the 2020 SOII included cases of COVID-19 when a worker was infected as a result of performing their work-related duties and met other recordkeeping criteria. COVID-19 is considered a respiratory illness under criteria established by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). The SOII collects detailed case information, including nature, for incidences requiring at least one day away from work and codes these cases using the Occupational Injury and Illness Classification System (OIICS). While OIICS does not include a code specifically for COVID-19, applicable days away from work cases were included in the Nature code 3299 – “Other diseases due to viruses, not elsewhere classified.”
Louisiana’s 2020 incidence rate was 78.4 cases per 10,000 FTE workers when considering nonfatal workplace injuries or illnesses resulting in days away from work (DAFW), compared to 62.9 cases per 10,000 FTE in 2019. In 2020, the national incidence rate was reported as 120.7 cases per 10,000 FTE workers. Of the Louisiana private industry illnesses reported in 2020, total recordable cases of respiratory illnesses were 75%, previously only being 15% of the illnesses reported in 2019. Of the 10,210 DAFW cases in the private industry in Louisiana in 2020, injuries to body systems represented 31.5% of reported cases with DAFW to the body. Exposure to harmful substances or environments accounted for 33% of the events/exposures of the DAFW cases in Louisiana.
The LWC collects workplace safety data in partnership with BLS and has created a website (http://www.laworks.net/Downloads/Downloads_oshs.asp) where current and archived Louisiana-specific information can
be downloaded. Additional state and national data is available on the BLS website (http://www.bls.gov/) in the section on injuries, illnesses and fatalities section.
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