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California on-the-job injury rate reaches 13-year low


California workers experienced the lowest rate of on-the-job injuries and illnesses in 13 years in 2014.

A total of 460,700 injury and illness cases were reported last year, a decline from the 468,400 total cases reported in 2013, according to the Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses conducted by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics in cooperation with the California Department of Industrial Relations.

In 2002, the total number of reportable cases reached 694,100, according to the survey.

“As a whole, the lower work-related injury and illness rates reflect California’s commitment to on-the-job health and safety,” Christine Baker, director of the department, said in a statement. “However, employers in industry sectors that have a disproportionate share of work-related injuries must focus on prevention to further protect the health and safety of employees.”

Latino workers experienced the highest incidence of occupational injuries in terms of cases involving days away from work at 59% of such cases in 2014, according to the survey. In construction, manufacturing, mining and natural resources, three out of four workers injured on the job and losing work days are Latino.

New hires and young workers have higher injury rates in private industry, with one of every four workers whose cases involved days away from work on the job for less than a year, according to the survey. Teenagers from 16 to 19 years of age suffered the highest incidence of days away from work compared with all other age groups.

Sprains, strains and tears are the largest injury category involving days away from work, accounting for 35.8% of all injuries, according to the survey.

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