First off, let’s start with some good news, shall we… Just four decades ago, more than 14,000 workers in the United States were killed on their job on a yearly basis. And today, that number is way closer to 5,000, according to statistics provided by the United States Department of Labor.
As you can clearly see, workplaces around the country – and around the world for that matter – have been getting safer for decades at this point and as jobs get safer, the safety standards rise. According to a recently published BLS report, that trend actually hit a slight bump two years ago, when deaths in the workplace rise slightly.
However, non-fatal accidents were down back in 2015, stopping at 2.9 million, almost 50,000 less than the year before. This marked the 13th straight year of accident decreases in the US. On the other hand, not every industry in the country has seen a decline in the number of workplace accidents.
In fact, when it comes to injuries, the construction industry climbed back to its pre-recession peak, hitting exactly 973 fatal injuries in 2015, which is actually the highest number since 2008. And don’t be fooled, construction is not the only industry that has seen a growth in on-premises accidents in the last couple of years…
Workplace Accidents Still Happen Regularly
And now, let’s talk about the bad news. See, although the number of injuries has significantly fallen in the last couple of decades, this still doesn’t mean workplaces are still completely safe.
As a matter of fact, according to the National Safety Council, even today, a worker gets injured on the job every seven seconds or so… Just think how many people have suffered an injury since you started reading this article… You have to admit, that’s a lot of injuries and potential lawsuits for business owners.
Last year’s report from The Travelers Companies INC. the largest worker compensation carrier in the United States, actually identified the most common causes of workplace injuries in the country. The researchers hired by the company analyzed roughly 1.5 million worker compensation claims, filled in four years between 2010 and 2014.
Top Five Causes of Workplace Injuries
According to their report four of the most notable causes of workplace I injuries include:
- Traumas that have occurred over time, such as injuries caused by strain and overuse, which accounted for 4% of total claims
- Accidents involving hand and power tools like drills, hammers, saws and electrical grinders, which accounted for 7% of total claims
- Calamities that involved a worker being struck by an object or by colliding with different objects, which accounted for 10% of total claims
- Slips on wet floors, trips on objects such as cords on the ground and various falls from different heights, which accounted for 16% of total claims
- And lastly, we have material handling, which surprisingly accounted for staggering 32% of total claims during the period
As you can see, all of the injuries the company mentioned in their report are actually quite preventable by simple preemptive measures. Simply put, if safety issues such as these as properly addressed and if business leaders and managers continuously put an emphasis on developing a culture of safety could be easily avoided.
If business leaders in certain industries continue to ignore these issues, precautions could be devastating. Workers today are quick to hire a strong firm like Adams & Co and start working on their compensation lawsuit before they even leave the hospital.
The Bottom Line
And we’re not just talking about lawsuits here. Even minor accidents like sprains and strains can have a huge impact on a certain employee, slow your businesses operation and have and subsequently have a great impact on your overall productivity.
On average, sprains result in almost two months of missed work while small cuts and skin punctures result in 24 missed work days, according to the TTC report we mentioned earlier. So make sure to keep that in mind the next time you’re discussing the safety measures your company has taken so far.