We head to work each day assuming that our day will be routine. But if you are injured at work, your day is anything but routine. In reality, thousands of workers are injured every day while on the job. In 2012 alone, over 2.9 million cases were recorded. The most common type of workplace injuries are sprains, cuts and bone fractures, though these are not the only reported injuries.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (part of the Department of Labor [DOL]) tracks job-related injuries, illnesses and fatalities. This information allows the DOL to understand when and how workers are injured. The data is also shared with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) for use in their efforts to make our work environments safer. Three classifications are tracked: injuries (94.6% fall into this category which includes cuts, a strained back, etc.), occupational illness (5.2% of reports are from things like repetitive motion injuries or contact dermatitis), and fatal injuries (<.2% refer to any injury that results in the workers’ death).
Over 900,000 reported claims involved days away from work in 2012. The most common injuries listed are:
- Sprains, strains and tears accounted for 38% of injuries that resulted in days away from work in 2012. Of this group, 63% of injuries resulted from overexertion and bodily reaction and 23% from slips, trips and falls. Back injuries were common complaints.
- Musculoskeletal disorders accounted for 34% of injuries involving days away from work. Shoulder injuries accounted for the most lost days, followed by injuries to the abdomen, then wrist. Many of those injured in this group work as laborers, freight, stock and materials movers; janitors; nursing assistants and nurses; tractor trailer drivers; and maintenance and repair workers.
- Soreness and pain from non-specified injuries accounted for more than 15% of days away from work.
- Other injuries resulting in days away from work were reported less often, but included bruises and contusions, broken bones, amputations, burns, and tendonitis, among others.
While occupational illness is reported at a much lower rate, it is important to mention this category. It includes such things as respiratory disorders (for example, black lung or asbestosis), poisoning, skin disorders, endocrine disorders, or any other illness that was the result of exposure while on the job.
Sadly, over 4,000 workers were killed on the job in 2012. The most common cause of fatal work injuries reported were roadway incidents (24%); falls, slips and trips (15%); and homicides (10.6%).
If you have been seriously injured at work or a loved one has died while on the job, you should speak with an injury attorney. Our Columbia based injury attorneys offer a free consultation so you can learn your rights. Call us today to learn more.