Staying Safe at Work: What the Numbers Say

March 17, 2015

The Bureau of Labor Statistics has its latest numbers regarding workplace accidents. According to their report, 2013 saw fewer “nonfatal occupational injury and illness cases requiring days away from work” than 2012 did. The report examines injuries of private sector workers, but also provides information regarding certain populations of government workers.

What the numbers say

The report looks closely at three distinct groups of people within the total private sector population: Laborers and freight, stock, and material movers; Heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers; and nursing assistants. The most common injuries involved:

  • Overexertion and bodily reaction. Nursing assistants had the most amounts of these injuries.
  • Contact with object or equipment. Laborers are most at risk of being injured by the equipment they use. “Object” is never clearly defined, which could explain why the overall private-sector population had so many of these injuries.
  • Falls, slips, or trips. Truck drivers were most at risk of injury based on the Bureau’s statistics.
  • Transportation incidents. As expected, truck drivers topped this list.
  • Violence and other injuries by persons or animal. Again, nursing assistants suffered the most, though overall the private sector was more at risk than either of the two additional groups mentioned in the report.

The report also looked specifically at musculoskeletal injuries, “such as sprains or strains resulting from repetitive motion,” and found that local and state government workers reported the highest amounts of injuries. But anyone who performs a repetitive motion is at risk of a musculoskeletal injury. People who work on computers risk carpal tunnel syndrome, while laborers who lift and move freight without the aid of a forklift or safety equipment risk straining their arms, shoulders, wrists or backs; perhaps this is why transportation and warehousing saw the greatest number of musculoskeletal injuries in the private sector.

Each of the injuries and industries described in this report are covered by workers’ compensation in Pennsylvania. Whether you have been injured using a piece of heavy machinery, have been hurt lifting a patient at a hospital or slipped while loading a truck, you may be entitled to benefits to help you heal while protecting your family.

If you have suffered a workplace injury, contact the Philadelphia workers’ compensation attorneys at Larry Pitt & Associates. We can help you plan for your future.