Workplace injuries fall to historic low in Indiana

The Indiana Statehouse is located in Indianapolis. Workplace injuries dropped to an all-time low in Indiana.

Dan Carden, The Times

Indiana's nonfatal occupational injury and illness rate fell to a historic low of 3.5 injuries or illnesses per 100 full-time workers last year, according to the Indiana Department of Labor.

The rate has been below four injuries or illnesses per 100 full-time workers in the Hoosier state for five consecutive years. Workplace injuries declined 8 percent from 3.8 injuries or illnesses per 100 workers in 2015, which had previously been the lowest rate since the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses report debuted in its current form in 1992.

“We are proud of our Hoosier workforce and their dedication to maintaining safe and healthy workplaces,” Indiana Department of Labor Commissioner Rick Ruble said. “Indiana’s employers and employees continue to make workplace safety a top priority. Partnerships with organized labor, trade associations and safety councils, as well as Indiana’s IOSHA enforcement and INSafe programs, help ensure that workplace safety is more than a buzzword. It’s a culture.”

Indiana's manufacturing industry saw injuries and illnesses decline to 4.1 per 100 workers in 2016, a 13 percent drop from the rate of 4.7 per 100 workers in 2015, according to the Indiana Department of Labor. Construction, another relatively dangerous occupation, stayed steady last year with 2.8 injuries of illnesses per 100 workers.

Fifteen of the 19 major industry classifications in Indiana reported fewer injuries last year.

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Joseph S. Pete is a Lisagor Award-winning business reporter who covers steel, industry, unions, the ports, retail, banking and more. The Indiana University grad has been with The Times since 2013 and blogs about craft beer, culture and the military.