Occupational illnesses Research/studies

Connecticut workplace illnesses down, but still higher than average

Farmington, CT – The overall rate of occupational diseases in Connecticut declined between 2011 and 2012, but still remains higher than the national average, according to a recent study from the University of Connecticut Health Center.

The rate of reported cases of occupational illnesses per 10,000 workers in the state declined 21 percent in 2012 to 21.9; the national rate was 20.2.

The respiratory and hearing loss disease rates per 10,000 Connecticut workers increased slightly in 2012, while the rate of skin diseases and “other” diseases (musculoskeletal disorders, allergies or cancer) declined significantly.

Musculoskeletal disorders represented the largest portion of illnesses reported – between one-third and one-half, depending on the data source. Respiratory diseases made up between 8 percent and 11 percent of cases, with skin conditions accounting for 5 percent to 21 percent.

The report originally was presented to the Connecticut Workers’ Compensation Commission in June, and was publicly released in late August. Various data sources were used for the report, including the Occupational Illness and Injury Surveillance System and an annual survey from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and Connecticut OSHA.