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Public Safety Final 12-15-11 -   4.2 - Workplace Injury and Illness Rates

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Public Safety Final 12-15-11
1. Prison Operations
2. Community Corrections
3. Emergency Readiness
4. Worker Safety
Action Plan

4.2 - Worker Injury and Illness Rates
What is the rate of workplace injuries and illnesses in Washington State each year?

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Data Notes:

Data Source:

BLS (Bureau of Labor Statistics) 

Measure Definition:

Incidence rate is calculated as (N/EH) x 200,000.  N = number of injuries and illnesses. 

EH = total hours worked by all employees during calendar year.  200,000 – Base for 100 equivalent full-time workers (40 hours per week, 50 weeks per year). 

Target Rationale:




 L&I’s target is by 2015 to affect a 20% or greater decrease in injury and illness claims rates at workplaces where we conducted interventions compared with similar workplaces we did not visit.  The potential of being inspected can provide a broad deterrent effect that extends to other workplaces.  Employers may request a free consultation or risk management visit to help them voluntarily comply.

Link to Agency Strategic Plan: Keep Washington Safe and Working:  Prevent and reduce worker injuries, illness, and disability


Notes: (Optional) Washington’s Incidence Rate is higher than the national rate.  It is important to note two things; 1) the percentage difference between the two rates has remained static; and, 2) both rates continue to decline annually
Also Available
Action Plan: Yes
Extended Analysis: Yes

 Drill Down Measures

 Summary Analysis

Washington’s workplace injury and illness rate remains above the national average but continues to decline.


·  The gap is narrowing.

·  Workplace musculoskeletal disorders (WMSDs) incidence rates are decreasing in hospitals more than in nursing homes due to improved use of safe patient handling equipment and techniques (see extended analysis).


·  Overall WMSD rates have begun to increase again and WMSD injuries remain unacceptably high and costly.

·  Rates in trucking and warehousing remain high.  The non-fixed nature of these industries makes safety and health intervention more difficult.

·  State agency rates continue higher than the private sector due to health care and corrections particularly related to assaults.

·  L&I’s WISHA penalties are lower than the national average.