Workers’ Compensation by Industry
Workplace injuries are unfortunately very common. Due to the nature of some industries, the injury rates are naturally higher than others. The five highest injury and illness-prone industries throughout the country include:
- Local government (15%)
- Healthcare and social assistance (14%)
- Retail trade (11%)
- Manufacturing (10%)
- Leisure and hospitality (8%)
The five highest fatal injury and illness-prone industries are:
- Construction (18%)
- Transportation and warehousing (15.5%)
- Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting (10%)
- Government (10%)
- Manufacturing (7%)
In addition, the top 10 private industry occupations with the largest number of injuries and illnesses in 2019 included:
- Truck drivers, both heavy and tractor-trailer
- Nursing assistants
- Stockers and order fillers
- Retail salespersons
- Light truck drivers
- General maintenance and repair workers
- Registered nurses
- Construction laborers
- Janitors and cleaners
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, transportation-related accidents (including vehicle crashes) were the leading cause of workplace deaths in 2018, with 2,080 fatalities, accounting for 40 percent of the total. After that, the highest rate of workplace fatalities was among logging workers, fishing industry workers, aircraft pilots and flight engineers, and roofers. These workers had fatality rates that were more than ten times the all-worker rate of 3.5 deaths per 100,000 workers.
How to Prevent Workplace Injuries and Illnesses
Nobody wants workplace injuries or illnesses, for obvious reasons. The best way to handle such injuries/illnesses is to prevent them altogether. There are several tips for employers to prevent workplace injuries/illnesses:
- Incorporate a Safety and Wellness Plan. A safe work environment revolves around an effective accident prevention and wellness program that covers everything from training to reporting.
- Research Safety Vulnerabilities. All businesses are different; put effort into identifying high-risk areas and take extra care in those areas.
- Provide Protection Equipment. Personal protection equipment is essential. Take time to teach employees how to properly use hard hats, face protection, goggles, gloves, safety shoes, and earplugs or muffs.
- Don’t Take Shortcuts. Accidents happen when employees skip steps out of laziness or deadlines. Make sure all instructions are clear and understood.
- Have Adequate Staffing Levels. Overtime hours are typically implemented because of under-staffing. Overworked employees may be too tired to be careful and cut corners to meet or exceed output.
- Conduct Pre-Placement Physicals and Regular Safety Training. Some accidents are caused by inexperience and the inability to physically perform the position. All employees should participate in at least bi-annual safety training.
- Monitor Safety Measures. After initial training, reinforce safety measures at every opportunity; e.g., staff meetings, supervision, and individual reviews. Try rewarding employees who stay injury-free for a specified amount of time.
- Keep an Orderly Workplace. Managers are models for their employees. If a manager’s workspace is a mess, there is no leverage for asking employees to keep a neat work area.
Inspect and Maintain All Company Vehicles. According to OSHA, workplace-driving accidents cost employers an average of $60 billion dollars a year. Maintenance should include monthly inspections and repairing vehicles as soon as possible.
Let BPS Lawyers Help You With Any Workers’ Comp Issues
Workers’ compensation law is complex and difficult to decipher. The workers’ compensation attorneys at BPS Lawyers have combined 100 years of experience protecting employees’ rights and ensuring you get the maximum benefits you deserve. If you have suffered a work-related injury or illness, contact us for help.