Injury Frequency Rates-The Real Story

In December 2015, the Workers’ Comp Executive reported that California’s Injury & Illness Frequency Rates (IFR) have decreased to their lowest point in over a decade.  The report states that according to Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data through 2014, the Health Care sector’s IFR has dropped from 5.0 in 2012 to 4.7 in 2014.

Upon first glance this figure may surprise many readers as to a notable reduction in IFR rates from prior years, however, upon deeper investigation it becomes evident that this figure consolidates several aspects of the healthcare industry that are not immediately evident.  Digging deeper into the data provided by the BLS, the below breakdown may shed additional light on the IFR trends as they more closely correlate to your organization’s fit within the DIR’s Health Care industry sub-classifications.


  • Health care and social assistance – 4.3 (combines everything below)
    • Ambulatory health care services – 2.8
    • Hospitals – 6.4
    • Nursing & residential care facilities – 6.4
    • Social Assistance 3.8


  • Health care and social assistance – 10.7 (combines everything below, but provides no further break out)
    • Hospitals – 10.7
    • Nursing and residential care facilities – 10.8


  • Health care and social assistance – 6.1 (combines everything below, as well as social assistance… which must have performed better than the other two sections, however, data not broken out in the report)
    • Hospitals – 6.6
    • Nursing and residential care facilities – 11.1

By way of comparison, the following chart shows the last 3 years of IFR data for ALPHA Fund Participants valued through February 2016.   You can see that with the exception of Private Industry – Ambulatory health care services, ALPHA Fund Participants are consistently outperforming State averages.  This is a tribute to the hard work and dedication of ALPHA Fund Participants in maximizing the effectiveness of your organizations’ safety program.

       Peer Group       FY14 FY15 FY16 ytd
Entire Pool 5.9 5.6 5.3
Hospitals 5.9 5.8 5.5
Skilled Nursing 3.7 2.2 1.8
Hospice 8.3 7.1 7.1
Clinics 5.1 5.0 4.4

The work is not yet finished.  Your ALPHA Fund Loss Prevention and Participant Services staff stand ready to assist you in your workplace injury reduction efforts.

*Incidence rates of nonfatal occupational injuries and illnesses by selected industries and case types, California 2014

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