Injuries at the Workplace Declined in 2010
Injuries in private workplaces have declined in 2010. However, employees are still being injured on the job. According to a recently released report from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), workplace injuries and illnesses fell in 2010, as compared to 2009. In 2010, 3 ½ employees out of every 100 full-time employees were injured. This has decreased slightly from 2009, in which 3.6 employees out of every 100 were injured in the private sector. This means that overall, almost 200,000 less workplace injuries and illnesses in the private workplace were reported this past year.
The Secretary of Labor stated that the decrease in injuries is a step in the right direction, however, “3.1 million injuries and illnesses in the workplace is too high. Serious injuries and illnesses can knock a working family out of the middle class. Workers should not have to sacrifice their health and safety to earn a paycheck.”
In the same written statement, the secretary also stated that workers in the health care industry continue to be injured at a rate higher than others. In fact, health care employees are involved in more accidents than construction workers and workers in manufacturing. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) will continue to work with employers and unions in the health care industry and others to help reduce the risk of injury at the workplace.
The BLS report also found that workplace injuries were much higher in the public sector compared to the private sector. In fact, 5.7 out of every 100 full time employees were injured in the public sector compared to 3.5 in the private sector (see above). “We must continue to work with state and local governments to ensure the safety of our public employees,” Secretary of Labor Hilda S. Solis wrote in her statement.
The statement by the Secretary of Labor also mentioned the extreme importance of keeping record. If proper records are kept noting all injuries and illness, the employers will be in a much better position to ensure that the same injuries do not occur again and the employees most at risk will be identified. Once the at risk employees are identified, the employer is at a better position to re-train the employee or to create a program to rehabilitate the at risk employees.
The Secretary of Labor closed by stating, “As our economy continues to rebound and grow, we must ensure that safety and health are a part of that growth. Let’s all remember that no job is a good job unless it is also a safe job.”
If you or someone you know has been injured at the workplace, you may want to speak with attorney Bob Mortland to ensure that you are fully compensated for your injuries.