The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics has recently released a report stating that, while the frequency of work-related injuries and illnesses may be decreasing, the severity of these incidents is increasing. In 2011, workers reported non-fatal work-related incidents at a rate of 117 incidents for every 10,000 workers. That number decreased to 112 in 2012. According to the report, in 2012, approximately 1.2 million employees reported work-related injury days away from work, representing a two percent decrease from the previous year.
While the number of incidents decreased, there was a slight increase in the median number of work days that were missed as a result of work-related injuries and illnesses. In 2012, the median number of missed work days was nine, compared to eight days in 2011.
The report also reveals that new employees are more likely to suffer work-related incidents. In 2012, 30 percent of work-related injuries in the private sector occurred with employees with less than one year of job service. From 2011 to 2012, workers with less than three months of service experienced an eight percent increase in job-related injuries and workers with between three and 11 months of service experienced a five percent increase in job-related injuries.
While statistics reveal that new employees are more likely to experience work-related injuries, every employee is exposed to workplace hazards. Some of these hazards can be avoided with proper training, safety precautions and procedures. Employees that are injured or become ill as a result of their employment conditions may be entitled to receive workers' compensation benefits while they are unable to work. Depending on the circumstances, an injured employee may have other legal recourse as well. Consulting with a workers' compensation attorney could ensure that an injured employee is fully compensated for their injury or loss.
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 'Nonfatal Occupational Injuries and Illnesses Requiring Days Away From Work, 2012," Press Release, Nov. 26, 2013
Source: Business Insurance, "U.S. workplace injury rate declines, but injury duration increases: BLS", Sheena Harrison, November 26, 2013