Eastern Kentucky University’s Bachelor of Science in Occupational Safety program recently created an infographic that provides a tool for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and employers to advance the prevention of workplace accidents. A number of different types of work injuries are prevalent in the workplace. Over three million non-fatal workplace accidents occurred in 2013 equating to a workplace injury taking place every ten seconds. View the university’s infographic here.
Even though workplace injuries and illnesses have decreased since 2005, over 900,000 workers missed time at work in 2013 because they were injured on the job. Moreover, in excess of $11 billion was paid out for workplace injuries in 2014, from over 250,000 Workers’ Compensation claims for a variety of non-fatal work injuries.
Over-exertion accounted for 400,090 injuries at work, while slip and falls caused close to 300,000 injuries to employees. Serious injuries for workers resulting from contact with objects or equipment totaled over 268,000. In excess of 134,000 injuries to workers were caused by violence in the workplace and transportation accidents.
In 2013, workplace incidents were responsible for the tragic deaths of over 4,000 employees. Many of the same non-fatal work accident categories were the cause of fatal work injuries, however hazardous exposure to substances was the number one cause for fatal Workers’ Compensation claims. Construction, manufacturing, agriculture, transportation and government jobs top the list of industries with the highest number of work fatalities.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration delivers standards to ensure healthy work environments by providing valuable information and training to employers while overseeing conditions in the workplace to make certain workplaces are safe for all employees. Due to the astounding sum of claims filed for Workers’ Compensation benefits, OSHA implemented more stringent guidelines and regulations for employers so the Administration could gather pertinent information to improve workplace safety as well as improve the efficiency of workplace accident injury response time.
In 2014, OSHA documented violations across many industries. Violators were penalized and the Administration took steps to decrease workplace accidents by isolating the industries that need specific improvements. Many large industries were found to have inadequate respiratory safeguards, lack of hazardous material communication, inappropriate machine operation, and subpar electrical wiring. Improper fall protection as well as ladder and scaffolding violations were widespread in the construction industry.
OSHA believes that a wide number of workplace accidents go unreported. The stricter guidelines, which were imposed January 1, 2015, will ensure timely and accurate injury reports and allow the agency to accurately access accidents in the workplace, while at the same time ensure that employers are responsive to problematic work zones.
The infographic also delineates which industries showed the highest numbers of non-fatal and fatal injuries at work. Over 180,000 local government employees suffered non-fatal work injuries followed by over 160,000 healthcare workers who were non-fatally injured on the job. Employees in retail accounted for 128,800 non-fatal workplace injuries, trailed by 120,110 manufacturing workers and 94,730 leisure and hospitality employees. The top five fatal injury prone industries were construction, transportation and warehousing, agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting, followed by government and manufacturing, respectively.
The data included in the report depicts the direct and indirect costs of Workers’ Compensation claims by types of injury. Equipment repair and replacement, hiring and training, lost productivity, lost time and legal fees are included in indirect costs.
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