According to a recent report, the rate in which non-fatal work injuries and illnesses occur across the U.S. has declined. The severity of these injuries, however, has increased.
In 2011, 117 cases per 10,000 full-time workers had to stay home from work as a result of a workplace injury or illness. This number decreased in 2012, as only 112 cases per 10,000 spent days away from work. Though this shows a decrease in the amount of serious workplace injuries — serious, in this case, defined as an injury that requires days away from work — other numbers show an increase in the severity of these injuries.
In the report, severity is measured by the average days a worker is required to spend away from work. The severity of injuries appears to be trending upwards, as a median of eight days was reported in 2011, while that number increased to nine in 2012.
Severe workplace injuries can have devastating effects for an employee. They may require days — if not weeks, months or years — away for work, which oftentimes results in lost wages. Lost wages can have an enormous impact on the injured worker’s pocketbook, making it difficult to cover necessary expenses and the medical costs associated with workplace injuries.
Thankfully, employees injured as the result of a workplace accident have a chance to receive help covering medical costs and lost wages. Workers’ compensation allows workers in such situations to apply for compensation. This compensation provides workers with an exclusive remedy — but first, these employees must file a claim and follow guidelines which determine eligibility.
Source: Tire Business, “U.S. workplace injury rate declines but severity up,” Nov. 27, 2013