The Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) of 1970 seeks to protect workers. All employees deserve safe and healthy working conditions. Regulations specify that employers must maintain records on workplace injuries and illnesses.
Every year we are tasked with collecting occupational injury and illness surveys as well as agricultural wage and practices surveys from private and public sector workplaces. The Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Act of 1970 was passed to ensure "…so far as possible every working man and woman in the nation safe and healthful-working conditions and to preserve our human resources." (PL 91-596, 1970). The OSH act directed the U.S. Secretary of Labor to issue regulations to require employers to maintain records on workplace injuries and illnesses. The Massachusetts Department of Labor Standards (DLS), in partnership with the U.S. Department of Labor, collects two annual surveys: the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ (BLS) Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses (SOII), and the Prevailing Wage Normal and Common Practices Survey. Up until 2013, DLS collected the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) Work-Related Injury and Illness Data Collection Initiative (ODI).
BLS Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses
The U.S. Secretary of Labor has delegated to the BLS the responsibility for collecting, compiling, disseminating, and analyzing statistics on workplace injuries and illnesses as required by the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970.
The OSHS program provides information on workplace injuries and illnesses. Since 1972, the BLS has conducted the annual Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses (SOII) to compile injury and illness statistics. Special studies and analyses of data indicated a need for detailed information on workplace fatalities. In 1991, as part of the redesign of the SOII, the BLS began to collect fatality data through the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI). The BLS conducts the SOII and CFOI in conjunction with State agencies through the Federal/State cooperative agreements.
Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses (SOII): The survey is the only comprehensive measure of work-related injuries and illnesses in American workplaces. As such, it is relied on by employers, employees, public policy makers and researchers in their efforts to protect the American workforce and maintain its high level of productivity. The survey uses a scientific sampling approach to select employers to represent all industries and all sizes of establishments. This sampling approach relies on substantial cooperation from those establishments that are selected to participate to maintain the quality and accuracy of this statistical series.
Since 1992, Massachusetts, and most other states, has been in a partnership with the BLS to collect non-fatal occupational injury and illness data. Each year approximately 5,800 surveys are sent out to public and private sector workplaces in every industry, size class, and region of the state. Collecting case characteristics in this survey enables us to produce an Occupational injuries and Illnesses Annual Report. This annual report provides raw data and statistical comparison about the work-related injuries and illnesses that are occurring in our workplaces. Nationwide, over 200,000 surveys are collected.
The goal of DLS’s Occupational Safety and Health Statistics Program is to keep improving workplace environments by presenting data to institutions and entities that can use it to target incident trends and devise strategies to reduce occupational injuries and illnesses. We encourage all employers to use the data and to keep safety and health as a focal point in the daily operation of your workplaces.
Massachusetts Occupational Injuries and Illnesses Reports
Compiled by The Massachusetts Department of Labor Standards and The U.S. Department of Labor.
Occupational Injuries and Illnesses Annual Report 2019
Occupational injuries and Illnesses Annual Report 2017
Occupational Injuries and Illnesses Annual Report 2016
Occupational Injuries and Illnesses Annual Report 2015
Occupational Injuries and Illnesses Annual Report 2014
Occupational Injuries and Illnesses Annual Report 2013
Occupational Injuries and Illnesses Annual Report 2012
Occupational Injuries and Illnesses Annual Report 2011
Occupational Injuries and Illnesses Annual Report 2010
Occupational injuries and Illnesses Annual Report 2008
Occupational Injuries and Illnesses Annual Report 2007
Occupational Injuries and Illnesses Annual Report 2005
Occupational Injuries and Illnesses Annual Report 2004
Occupational Injuries and Illnesses Annual Report 2002
Occupational Injuries and Illnesses Annual Report 2001
Occupational Injuries and Illnesses Annual Report 2000
The Program supports improvement of workplace environments by compiling and presenting data to employers, employees, researchers, industry professionals, and policy-makers, so the data can be used to devise strategies to reduce occupational injuries and illnesses. The Department of Labor Standards (DLS) administers the Annual Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses for all private-sector and public-sector industries, trades, and occupations. This survey, conducted in partnership with the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, provides detailed information on injuries and illnesses in the workplace. Selected employer units receive a pre-notification package in the December prior to the calendar year in which they are required to maintain records.
Common questions about the BLS Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses (SOII)
- Is my establishment legally required to complete the Annual Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses (SOII)?
Every private sector company selected to participate in the SOII is required by Public Law 91-956 to complete the Survey. Even businesses that are normally exempt from OSHA recordkeeping are required to respond to the survey when selected.
- As a state agency, exempt from OSHA recordkeeping requirements, am I required to complete the SOII if selected
Every state agency within the Commonwealth of Massachusetts’ Executive Branch is required to complete the SOII, pursuant to Executive Order #511. This order, signed in April 2009 highlights the need for ongoing assessment and improvement of health and safety conditions for employees of Massachusetts.
- After completing the SOII this year, can my company expect to receive the survey in following years?
Workplaces are chosen on a random sampling basis by the Bureau of Labor Statistics to complete the survey. Many larger companies may be chosen every year, or more frequently, to complete the survey. Smaller companies may only be chosen every few years to complete the survey.
- Which work-related injuries and illnesses should be recorded on my establishment’s Log of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses?
Cases are recordable if your workplace has had an injury or illness that resulted in any of the following:
- Days away from work
- Restricted work
- Transfer to another job
- Loss of consciousness
- Medical treatment beyond first aid
- Significant work-related injuries or illnesses that are diagnosed by a physician or other licensed health care professional, including cancer, chronic irreversible disease, a fractured or cracked bone, and a punctured eardrum
Additionally, employers must record the following conditions when they are work-related:
- Any needle-stick injury or cut from a sharp object that is contaminated with another person’s blood or other potentially infectious material
- Any case requiring an employee to be medically removed under the requirements of an OSHA health standard
- Occupational hearing loss in which an employee has experienced a 10dB Standard Threshold Shift (STS) in one or both ears and the employee’s total hearing level is 25 decibels (dB) or more above audiometric zero (averaged at 2000, 3000, and 4000 Hz) in the same ear(s) as the STS
- Tuberculosis infection as evidenced by a positive skin test or diagnosis by a physician or other licensed health care professional after exposure to a known case of active tuberculosis
For more information about what injuries and illnesses are recordable, visit our recordkeeping training presentation.
Fatal work-related injuries
For information about workplace fatalities, visit the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.
Bureau of Labor Statistics
For statistics on workers' safety and health, visit the Bureau of Labor Statistics website.
For more information, please contact:
Massachusetts Department of Labor Standards
Occupational Safety and Health Statistics Program
100 Cambridge Street, Suite 500
Boston, MA 02114