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Workplace Injury Continues to Decline, Yet Three Million Cases Were Still Reported in 2013

workplace injuries declining but still too highWhile injuries and accidents in the workplace continue to decline, the number of official cases for the 2013 work year is still remarkably high. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics 2013 Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses, three million employees in the United States suffered from a work-related injury or illness.
Of course, while it's easy to focus on the large figures presented, the fact is that workplace injury cases continue to decline over recent years. While tighter restrictions and increased awareness contribute to the improvements, the sheer number of workplace injuries is still much higher than it could be. Continued effort, education and awareness on the part of both employers and employees is what will ultimately help reduce the number and create work environments that present a lower safety risk.
Out of the three million injury cases in 2013, over half of them were considered to be serious injuries that resulted in several days away from work, job transfers or work restrictions.
The highest rate of injury was found to be amongst mid-sized private industry workplaces which employ between 50 and 250 workers. Alternatively, the lowest rate of injury was among small businesses employing 11 workers or less.
Some suffered back injuries, others foot or knee injuries. Some cases were less severe where slight sprains occurred yet there are still many cases where we have employees who have lost their lives or are now amputees. So as we see these numbers slowly going down, we're still seeing cases, many cases, where these accidents can be prevented.
Among the three million reports of injury on the job, over 2.1 million occurred in service-providing industries which makes up nearly 83% of the private industry workforce. The remaining injuries occurred in manufacturing or good-producing industries. And while only 5% of the injury reports were related directly to workplace illness, that's still a a very large number of incidents where people are literally becoming sick from performing their jobs - and that requires some serious attention.
In an effort to further decrease instances of injury and illness at work, OSHA has made changes to their injury/illness reporting requirements which mandates employers to report all fatal injuries within 8 ours and all in-patient cases of serious injury within 24 hours. Several industries will also be required to keep up-to-date injury and illness records at all times.
In an ideal situation we'd like to see no injuries at work, but accidents do happen and realistically it's not possible to eliminate all hazards. However, dedicated employers can make a huge difference, as can employees who raise awareness and verbalize their concerns while committing to creating a safe workplace. It all begins with practicing proper safety procedures, utilizing the proper PPE Equipment and safety gear, and continued education.

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