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State Ties 2013 For Lowest Recorded Workplace Injury Rate In 25 Years

Ed Schipul

Workplace injuries fell 5 percent in 2015 in Indiana. The year is now tied with 2013 as the year with the lowest on-the-job injury rate since the federal government began recording 25 years ago.

According to the Indiana Department of Labor, 3.8 people per every hundred were injured or contracted work-related illnesses last year.

Indiana DOL Spokeswoman Amanda Stanley says the five percent decrease over 2014 is a result of efforts on all fronts—“Organized labor, trade organizations, safety councils, everybody taking the safety of Hoosiers in the workplace seriously and doing everything they can with those cooperative relationships.”

The declining rate could be a sign of a stabilizing economy after the recession. According to the DOL, increased injuries can be a sign people are changing careers and working in unfamiliar industries, although Stanley admits the department can’t do more than speculate about the reason behind the drop.

Workers in agriculture suffered the highest incidence of workplace-related injuries, with close to seven people per every 100 reporting getting hurt or sick.

Arts, entertainment and recreation—a field that includes professional athletes--had the second-highest rate, at 6.3. Even though several other fields—such as construction and manufacturing—saw declines in their rates, those two professions saw theirs go up. 

Manufacturing injury rates landed the sector at the middle of the pack, even though certain portions of that industry—such as mobile home manufacturing—experienced injury rates at three times the total manufacturing average. 15 percent of mobile home manufacturing workers reported injuries last year.

Medium-sized workplaces with between 50 and 249 people proved to be the most dangerous for workers.   

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