Occupational Safety and Health Program information

The Department of Labor Standards’ Occupational Safety and Health Statistics Program.

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. 

Overview

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 annual occupational injury and illness 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.

Prevailing Wage Normal and Common Practices Survey - Beginning in 2013, the department now administers the Prevailing Wage Normal, and Common Practices Survey, which determines the prevailing wage and common practices among the Massachusetts agricultural employer community. This survey is mailed to Massachusetts growers at the end of October and data collection continues until the end of December. The survey is conducted annually at the direction of the DLS and in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration. The survey results will assist in ensuring that both U.S. and foreign workers receive fair and equitable treatment. These surveys are the building blocks by which wages and benefits levels will be determined for next year’s agricultural work force. Grower participation will significantly help in assessment of wage rates and prevailing practices and provide this vital information to the agricultural community in Massachusetts. All information provided by you through this survey is confidential; we will hold the information in confidence to the fullest extent permitted by law.

OSHA Data Collection Initiative (ODI) –On hold until further notice; no data collected for 2013 - Collected between June and October, the ODI collects work-related injury and illness data from businesses by specific industry and size of company characteristics. The data is used by OSHA to calculate injury and illness incidence rates for each company that is selected. This company-specific data is available from OSHA. Note: Not all states or territories participate in ODI, therefore data may not be available for some states in certain collection years.

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 Report 2015
Occupational Injuries and Illnesses Report 2014 
Occupational Injuries and Illnesses Report 2013
Occupational Injuries and Illnesses Report 2012
Occupational Injuries and Illnesses Reports 2011
Occupational Injuries and Illnesses Report 2010
Executive Summary Occupational Injuries and Illnesses Report 2008
Occupational Injuries and Illnesses Reports 2008
Executive Summary Occupational Injuries and Illnesses Report 2007
Occupational Injuries and Illnesses Report, 2007
Occupational Injuries and Illnesses Report 2005
Occupational Injuries and Illnesses Report 2004
Occupational Injuries and Illnesses Report 2002
Occupational Injuries and Illnesses Report 2001
Occupational Injuries and Illnesses Report 2000

The mission

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.

Due to changes to the federal government budget, the department did not collect data for the OSHA Data Initiative in 2013. The OSHA Data Initiative is on hold until further notice.

Beginning in 2013, the department now administers the Prevailing Wage, Normal, and Common Practices Survey, which determines the prevailing wage and common practices among the Massachusetts agricultural employer community. The survey is conducted annually at the direction of the Massachusetts Departments of Labor Standards and Career Services, and in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration. The survey results assist in ensuring that both U.S. and foreign workers receive fair and equitable treatment by agricultural employers.

Common questions about the BLS Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses (SOII)

1) 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.

2) 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.  

3) 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.

4) 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:

  • Death
  • 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.

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.

Questions about the agricultural prevailing wage and Common Practices Survey (PW&CPS)

1. Is my establishment legally required to complete the Agricultural Prevailing Wage and Common Practices Survey?
If you are hiring foreign labor you must complete the survey form. For all others, you are not required to complete it but your information is valuable because it forms the basis for the prevailing wage that is paid to foreign workers in your industry.

2. How does your department use the information provided in the survey?
Data from the survey are compiled and used to identify a prevailing wage for occupations in your industry. Any employer looking to hire foreign labor for those same occupations must pay the prevailing wage or better for that labor. This ensures that jobs, as much as possible, remain open to U.S. workers. Under the Foreign Labor Certification Program (H-2A Program), the employer must offer, recruit at, and pay a wage that is the highest of the Adverse Effect Wage Rate (AEWR) in effect at the time the job order is placed, the prevailing hourly or piece rate, the agreed-upon collective bargaining rate (CBA), or the Federal or State minimum wage.

3. If the survey is voluntary, why should I complete it?
Your information is extremely important for the economic development of an area, county, state, and our nation. Measuring the economy through the accurate data collection, dissemination, analysis and production of employer information is our area of expertise. Surveys that we conduct, like this one, are key to ensuring we are keeping current with the economic development issues. The information we collect will ensure the quality of wage and employment data for your industry.

For more information, please contact:
Massachusetts Department of Labor Standards
Occupational Safety and Health Statistics Program

Charles F. Hurley Building
19 Staniford Street, 2nd Floor
Boston, MA 02114
(617) 626-6945

Common question information supplied in part by the Maine Department of Labor, Center for Workforce Research and Information.

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