The State Worker

Chronicling civil-service life for California state workers

November 12, 2010
State workers' job injuries nearly double private workers'

State government workers had much higher rates of work-related injuries and illnesses than private-sector workers last year, according to a new federal report that segregates public employee occupational ailments.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported the rate for nonfatal workplace sickness and injury that required time off from work as 180 cases per 10,000 full-time state workers, compared with 106 per 10,000 private sector employees. The state worker rate was unchanged from 2008.

The rate for local government employees was highest, 185 per 10,000, essentially the same as last year. For all workers, public and private, the rate was 117 per 10,000, down 5 percent from 2008, according to the the bureau's report.

The drop in the overall rate of work-related injury and illness reflects to some degree the nation's high unemployment rate, which doubled from 5 percent in January 2008 to 10 percent in December 2009. Last month the national unemployment rate was 9.6 percent for the third month in a row.

Jobs with the most injuries and illnesses included transit and intercity bus drivers (736 incidents per 10,000 FTE), police and sheriff's patrol (603), emergency response workers (511), nursing aides and orderlies (456), correctional officers (446) and firefighters (442).

The BLS release with the data follows. Use the tools at the bottom of the Scribd display to enlarge and search the document or to tile the pages.

Workplace Injuries and Illnesses

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About The State Worker

Jon Ortiz The Author

Jon Ortiz launched The State Worker blog and a companion column in 2008 to cover state government from the perspective of California government employees. Every day he filters the news through a single question: "What does this mean for state workers?" Join Ortiz for updates and debate on state pay, benefits, pensions, contracts and jobs. Contact him at (916) 321-1043 and at


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