The Percentage of Workers Employed in Occupations at High Risk for Occupational Morbidity
Rates of occupational injuries and illness vary greatly by both occupation and industry. This indicator focuses on the proportion of workers in occupations at high risk for injury or illness (morbidity). For this indicator, “high risk” occupations are defined as those private sector occupations in the U.S. that have a two-fold or higher rate of injuries or illnesses involving one or more missed days of work. Since the overall injury rate has shown significant declines over the past decade, the actual rate considered “high risk” is modified every five years.
Two data sources are used to create this indicator: data showing occupations with a two-fold or higher injury and illness rate; and the number of workers employed in those occupations in Minnesota. The number of employees in each occupational category is derived from the Current Population Survey (CPS) conducted by the U.S. Census.
State and national data on rates occupational injuries and illnesses are derived from the annual Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses (SOII) conducted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) in collaboration with the states. The SOII collects data on non-fatal injuries and illnesses for each calendar year from a sample of employers. However, SOII does not include small farms, federal employees, self-employed, and household workers. The employers are required to provide information on injury or illness cases that result in one or more lost workdays, restricted work activity, job transfer, loss of consciousness, or require medical treatment (other than first aid). National and state data are available from the BLS web site. In Minnesota, the Department of Labor and Industry (DLI) compiles these cases and reports on an annual basis and the data are presented in great detail in DLI’s annual Minnesota Workplace Safety Report.
Occupations that have at least twice the national rate of total reportable injuries and illnesses are classified as high risk. As the overall injury and illness rate has declined, the threshold rate for defining a high risk occupation (at least twice the overall rate) has also declined. For the time frame shown for this indicator, three different threshold rates were used for defining a high risk occupation. For the time period 2000-2002, an occupation was identified as high risk if the occupation had an injury and illness rate greater than 5 cases per 100 full time employees (representing 23 occupations). For the time period 2003-2007, the high risk rate was defined as 2.6 cases per 100 full time employees (representing 82 occupations). For the period 2008-2009, the high risk rate was defined as 2.3 cases per 100 full time workers (representing 61 occupations).
The percentages of workers in high risk occupations in Minnesota are shown in the graph and table below. High risk occupations for the most recent time period (2008-2009) are also shown in the table below.
Due to coding changes and changing threshold rates over each time period, trend analysis was limited to the five-year period 2003-2007. No change was found in the percentage of Minnesotans employed in high risk occupations.
Percentage of Minnesotans Employed in High Morbidity Risk Occupations*, 2000-2009
Percentage of Minnesotans Employed in High Morbidity Risk Occupations in Minnesota, 2000-2009
The rate used in defining a high risk occupation was changed for each of the three time periods (2000–2002, 2003–2007, 2008–2009), so comparisons should not be made between any of three periods.
High Risk Occupations for Occupational Morbidity, 2008-2009
|Athletes, coaches, umpires, and related workers|
|Emergency Medical technicians and paramedics|
|Nursing, psychiatric, and home health aides|
|First-line supervisor/managers of correctional officers|
|Transit and railroad police|
|Animal Control workers|
|Food servers, non-restaurant|
|First-line supervisors/managers of landscaping, lawn services, and grounds keeping|
|Janitors and building cleaners|
|Nonfarm animal caretakers|
|Reservation and transportation ticket agents and travel clerks|
|Meter readers, utilities|
|Forest and conservation workers|
|Brick masons, block masons, and stonemasons|
|Pipe layers, plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters|
|Reinforcing iron and rebar workers|
|Structural iron and steel workers|
|Highway maintenance workers|
|Miscellaneous construction and related workers|
|Mining machine operators|
|Roof bolters, mining|
|Aircraft mechanics and service technicians|
|Automotive glass installers and repairers|
|Automotive service technicians and mechanics|
|Bus and truck mechanics and diesel engine specialists|
|Heating, air condition, and refrigeration mechanics and installers|
|Industrial and refractory machinery mechanics|
|Telecommunications line installers and repairers|
|Coin, Vending, and amusement machine servicers and repairers|
|Welding, soldering, and brazing workers|
|Lay-out workers, metal and plastic|
|Model makers and patternmakers, wood|
|Sawing machine setters, operators, and tenders, wood|
|Stationary engineers and boiler operators|
|Cementing and gluing machine operators and tenders|
|Cleaning, washing, and metal pickling equipment operators and tenders|
|Cooling and freezing equipment operators and tenders|
|Etchers and engravers|
|Molders, shapers, and casters, except metal and plastic|
|Paper goods machine setters, operators, and tenders|
|Production workers, all other|
|Driver/sales workers and truck drivers|
|Taxi drivers and chauffeurs|
|Railroad conductors and yardmasters|
|Subway, streetcar, and other rail transportation workers|
|Sailors and marine oilers|
|Hoist and winch operators|
|Laborers and freight, stock and material movers, hand|
|Shuttle car operators|
The table above shows a list of occupations that had an injury rate at least twice the overall U.S. rate during 2008-2009.