Pennsylvania workers might be encouraged by a recent study completed by the Bureau of Labor Statistics regarding the incidence of workplace injuries and illnesses for 2013. According to the study, the overall rates of reportable workplace injuries and illnesses declined, continuing a trend that has been ongoing for several years.
While the study's results are encouraging, three million cases still occurred during the year. In the private sector, while the manufacturing, retail trade and utilities industries all demonstrated significant declines in injuries and illnesses, the rates for other types of industry employers remained the same. Overall, due to the declines for manufacturing, retail and utilities workers, the private sector demonstrated a statistically significant decline.
Federal, state and local government employees continued to demonstrate a much higher injury and illness rate than workers working for private employers. In 2013, government workers were injured at a rate of 5.2 cases per 100 workers, which although a decline over the previous year's rate of 5.6 cases per 100, is still much higher than the rates for other employment sectors.
The survey reveals that improvements have been made in workplace safety, and that is great news for employees and employers alike. The numbers still demonstrate, however, that more improvements need to be made in order to continue the decline of work-related injuries and illnesses. Workers should be able to work in environments in which their health and safety are protected. Workers who are injured while on the job may face debilitating and devastating problems as a result. When an injury occurs at work, it is important for the worker to inform his or her employer and seek medical attention. By filing a workers' compensation claim, the employee may have the costs of any needed medical treatment paid as well as a partial recovery of lost wages.
Source: Occupational Health & Safety, "Three Million Workplace Injuries and Illnesses in 2013: BLS", December 05, 2014