Montana Labor Market Blog

Research & Analysis Bureau - Montana Department of Labor & Industry


A Look at Montana's Occupational Injury and Illness Rates

The annual Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses (SOII) results were released last month by the Montana Department of Labor & Industry. In 2015, Montana workers experienced lost work day injuries at a rate of 4.3 injuries per 100 full-time workers. This rate was a decrease from last year's rate, following decreases the past few years. 


While a total of 14,400 injuries were reported in Montana for 2015, the following list of statistics from this year's SOII report all refer to the subset of OSHA recordable injuries that involved days away from work.


The industry with Montana's highest injury rate was Manufacturing, with 7.0 injuries reported per 100 full-time workers. Rounding out the top three were the Construction Industry, with a rate of 6.2, and Transportation & Warehousing with a rate of 5.7.


Construction laborers had the highest number of injuries and illnesses at 270, while truck drivers (heavy and tractor-trailer) totaled 210 incidents, and nursing assistants had 180.


Male workers were injured more frequently than females, accounting for just over 65% of all recordable injuries.


Injuries occurred most frequently within two age groups. Workers aged 25 to 34 experienced 880 recordable injuries in 2015, while those aged 45 to 54 had nearly as many, with a total of 870.

Event or Exposure

The most frequent injury event was "Contact with objects or equipment," which accounted for 930 incidents. Falls were the second and third most common injury event, with "Fall on same level" making up 530 of the injuries, and "Fall to lower level" making up 330.

Nature of Injury or Illness

By far most common type of injury was "Sprains and Strains," totaling 1,580 incidents. Sprain and strain injuries are consistently the most common workplace injury type that result in days away from work. So common, in fact, that they are further broken down by industry. In 2015, the Trade, transportation, and utilities industry accounted for the most sprains and strains, with 640 injuries. The next highest industry sector was Education & health services with 360 injuries.

About the SOII Survey

Surveyed employers were asked to report their employment average, the total hours worked for the year, and information on all OSHA recordable injuries. OSHA recordable injuries include any work-related injury or illness that results in loss of consciousness, days away from work, restricted work or transfer to another job, and any injury or illness that requires treatment beyond first aid. Montana OSHA recordable incidence rates are set from this requested data. Montana's data is included in calculating national interest rates.

The full report is available at:

Categories: Montana Labor Market Blog