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Numbers show decrease in workplace injuries in 2012

According to a recent report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, workplace injuries in the United States actually went down in 2012. The decrease was slight, from 3.5 injuries per 100 workers to 3.4. Still, the improvement means that employers and workplace safety regulators are doing something right to prevent on-the-job injuries.

When someone is injured on the job, a lot of questions come up right away, most directed at how the injury occurred and what might have been done to prevent it. In a lot of cases workplace injuries are accidents, caused by inherently dangerous conditions that workers were aware of. In other situations, an accident might happen because of an oversight by management or a neglect to come into compliance with relevant regulations.

One interesting fact that came out of the recent government report was that public sector workers are injured more frequently than workers in the private sector. It is not clear why there was a disparity between the two but it was significant – 3.2 injuries per 100 workers in the private sector compared with 5.6 per 100 among state and local employees. This trend held up in one of the industries most associated with workplace injuries – construction. In the construction industry private sector workers suffered from fewer injuries per 100 employees than government-employed construction workers.

In Pennsylvania as a whole, the rate was 3.9 per 100 workers.

Injuries on the job can lead to short or long term disabilities, which may make it difficult or impossible to return to work right away. When this happens, employees are entitled to workers compensation.

Source: Business Insider, “The American Workplace Is Getting Safer,” Andy Kiersz, Nov. 7, 2013. 

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