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Bureau of Labor Statistics Releases Workplace Injury Report

Casey Woodruff

work injury claim formHow common were workplace injuries and fatalities in 2014? According to a recent news release from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), private industry employers reported nearly 3 million nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses in 2014. While that number sounds very high—and it is, to be sure, a startlingly high number—it is actually part of a declining trend when it comes to work injuries across the country. Aside from employer-reported injuries in 2012, the BLS has observed a pattern of decline since 2002.

Types of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses in 2014

While the overall number of workplace injuries has declined, not all sectors have seen a similar drop in the number of accidents and injuries that have occurred. Indeed, the BLS emphasized that noticeable rates of decline only occurred in the following sectors:

  • Retail trade;
  • Health care and social assistance; and
  • Accommodation and food services.

In most cases, the injuries and illnesses reported fell clearly into the category of injuries. According to the news release, about 2.8 million (or more than 95 percent) of all reported injuries and illnesses were injuries. And of those injuries, more than 2 million (or 75 percent) happened in service-providing industries. Workplace illnesses accounted for less than 5 percent of all reported injuries and illnesses, and most of these occurred in goods-producing industries.

What do we mean when we says service-providing industries and goods-producing industries? In general, service-providing industries include but are not limited to jobs that fall into the following categories:

  • Wholesale trade;
  • Retail trade;
  • Transportation and warehousing; and
  • Utilities.

Goods-producing industries include but are not limited to jobs that fall into the following categories:

  • Natural resources and mining;
  • Construction; and
  • Manufacturing.

What about injuries and illnesses in the public sector? The BLS keeps track of these statistics, as well. In 2014, about 722,000 injuries and illnesses were reported to the BLS. Our country has more than 18 million employees in state and local government (including, for example, police officers and firefighters). When we consider that number alongside the reported total of injuries and illnesses, it means that an average of more than 20 percent of all public sector employees suffered an injury or illness on the job in 2014.

Nonfatal Occupational Injuries and Illnesses in Illinois

How do incidence rates of workplace injuries and illnesses in Illinois compare with the rest of the nation? The new release provides state-by-state data, which shows that the rate of injuries and illnesses at work is “statistically less than the national rate” in Illinois. The national rate is 3.2 cases (of injuries or illnesses) for every 100 equivalent full-time employees. The rate in Illinois is 2.8 cases for every 100 equivalent full-time employees. In other words, on average, Illinois employees sustain workplace injuries less often than do employees in certain other states.

Every year, Aurora residents are forced to miss days of work due to injuries they sustain on the job. And in some cases, Illinoisans must change jobs altogether or seek permanent disability benefits due to the severity of a workplace injury. If you got hurt at work, you deserve to be financially compensated. You should discuss your situation with a dedicated Aurora workplace injury lawyer as soon as possible. Contact Woodruff Johnson & Evans today to discuss your options.

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