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September 7, 2016

CT workplace injury, illness levels higher than national average

The number of workplace injuries and illnesses in Connecticut increased by 8 percent from 2013 to 2014, the latest data available, to 18.7 illnesses per 10,000 workers – a rate 7 percent higher than the national average, according to report by UConn Health.

The report is based on data from Workers’ Compensation, physician reports, and a standardized survey compiled by the Connecticut Labor Department and the national Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), UConn Today reported.

Tim Morse, professor emeritus at UConn Health and the study’s author called the findings troubling.

“Adding knowledge of prevention strategies such as ergonomics, the use of safer chemicals, effective infection control, and improvements in indoor office and school environments would well serve to support overall worker health and productivity,” he said in UConn Today’s report.

The 8,257 unique occupational illness cases in 2014 included approximately 3,500 musculoskeletal cases, 2,500 infectious-disease cases, 650 respiratory cases, almost 400 skin conditions, and over 1,000 “other” cases.

Morse, an occupational and environmental health expert, prepared the report “Occupational Disease in Connecticut, 2016,” for the State of Connecticut Workers’ Compensation Commission. Tracking the data is part of the Occupational Injury and Illness Surveillance System, a cooperative effort of the Connecticut Workers’ Compensation Commission, the Connecticut Department of Public Health, and the Connecticut Labor Department.

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