Workplace Injuries Take Toll

It has been estimated that employers pay almost $1 billion per week for direct workers’ compensation costs alone, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

The rate of nonfatal occupational injury and illness cases requiring days away from work to recuperate was 112 cases per 10,000 full-time workers in 2012, down from 117 in 2011, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The total number of private industry, state government, and local government cases with days away from work decreased 2 percent to 1,153,980 cases. The median days away from work — a key measure of severity of injuries and illnesses — was 9 days. This is one day more than in 2011.

Seven occupations had rates greater than 375 cases per 10,000 full-time workers: transit and intercity bus drivers; police and sheriff’s patrol officers; correctional officers and jailers; firefighters; nursing assistants; laborers and freight, stock and material movers; and emergency medical technicians and paramedics. Laborers and freight, stock and material movers had the highest number of days-away-from-work cases in 2012 with 63,690 (primarily in private industry) and an incidence rate of 391 (up from 367 in 2011).

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