Workplace Injuries at Record Low in California

Jan. 5, 2000
Job-related nonfatal injury/illness rates in California in 1998 reached a record low of 6.7 workers out of every 100.

On the heels of the passage of a new law that will give Cal/OSHA a boost with safety and health enforcement efforts, workplace injury statistics are plummeting.

The California Department of Industrial Relation's Division of Labor Statistics and Research has found that job-related nonfatal injury/illness rates in 1998 reached a record low of 6.7 workers out of every 100.

This is the second lowest rate since collection of these statistics began in 1971.

"Because we want to increase safety in the state's workplaces, this record low injury/illness rate is welcome news to us," said Steve Smith, director of the Department of Industrial Relations. "Now that we are expanding our Cal/OSHA enforcement staff for the first time in years, we hope to further reduce workplace injuries."

The injury/illness rate fell from 7.1 per 100 workers in 1997 to 6.7 per 100 workers in 1998, while employment in the industries covered expanded 3.2 percent.

Some of the statewide statistics included the following.

  • Eight of the 10 major industries recorded fewer injuries and illnesses.
  • Lost workdays declined from 3.6 to 3.3 days per incidence.
  • Of the nonfatal occupational illnesses reported, 57.6 percent were disorders associated with repeated trauma.

For copies of statistical tables for the 1998 occupational injuries and illnesses in California, visit the department's Web Site at

About the Author

EHS Today Staff

EHS Today's editorial staff includes:

Dave Blanchard, Editor-in-Chief: During his career Dave has led the editorial management of many of Endeavor Business Media's best-known brands, including IndustryWeekEHS Today, Material Handling & LogisticsLogistics Today, Supply Chain Technology News, and Business Finance. In addition, he serves as senior content director of the annual Safety Leadership Conference. With over 30 years of B2B media experience, Dave literally wrote the book on supply chain management, Supply Chain Management Best Practices (John Wiley & Sons, 2021), which has been translated into several languages and is currently in its third edition. He is a frequent speaker and moderator at major trade shows and conferences, and has won numerous awards for writing and editing. He is a voting member of the jury of the Logistics Hall of Fame, and is a graduate of Northern Illinois University.

Adrienne Selko, Senior Editor: In addition to her roles with EHS Today and the Safety Leadership Conference, Adrienne is also a senior editor at IndustryWeek and has written about many topics, with her current focus on workforce development strategies. She is also a senior editor at Material Handling & Logistics. Previously she was in corporate communications at a medical manufacturing company as well as a large regional bank. She is the author of Do I Have to Wear Garlic Around My Neck?, which made the Cleveland Plain Dealer's best sellers list.

Nicole Stempak, Managing Editor:  Nicole Stempak is managing editor of EHS Today and conference content manager of the Safety Leadership Conference.

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