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Accurate Recordkeeping Can Help Fix Workplace Safety Issues in Georgia

We noted in a previous post on our Georgia Workers’ Compensation Attorney Blog that several industries nationwide marked an increase in workplace fatalities in 2010, including private mining and law enforcement. Assaults and violence in Georgia workplaces accounted for the highest number of occupational deaths in our state last year.
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Atlanta work injury and illness lawyers understand that employers find it challenging to keep employees from getting injured at work, but employers have obligations to keep workers safe.

One area that needs improvement by all employers nationwide is recordkeeping. In a recent U.S. Department of Labor statement, Secretary Hilda L. Solis indicated that accurate records of employee injuries and illnesses can not only help identify and fix systematic issues in the workplace but it can also help employees not to fear consequences of losing their job if they report an incident at work. In this economy when jobs are hard to find, employees may be keeping their lips sealed for fear of being let go from their duties.

Georgia employees need not fear losing their job when reporting an accident at work. Getting sound advice from an experienced workers’ compensation attorney may ease the stress if you are injured at work or come into contact with a hazardous chemical or substance while on the employer’s watch.

We are also aware of the 2010 occupational injury and illness summary recently released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and the numbers aren’t good. As a matter of fact, they virtually remained unchanged from 2009 reporting more than 3 million nonfatal illnesses and injuries in the private industry sector.

Some interesting findings from the 2010 summary:

-Injuries are much more predominant in the private industry sector workplace than illnesses with a 95 to 5 percent ratio of occurrences.

-More than 1.5 million of the nearly 3.1 million private industry illness and injury cases reported were critical enough to require a job transfer, restricted duties or missed time from work.

-DART cases (those requiring lost time from work, a job transfer or limited duties at work) occurred at a rate of 1.8 cases per 100 full-time equivalent employees in 2010, which was the same as those reported the previous year.

-Non-DART cases in 2010 (those considered less severe and not requiring one of the three scenarios listed above) occurred at a rate of 1.7 cases per 100 full-time employees, which was slightly less than the 1.8 reported in 2009.

-Small work establishments are classified as 10 employees or less and mid-size establishments employ anywhere from 50 to 249 employees at a time. When comparing private industry work sites that reported the most cases of illnesses and injuries, mid-size establishments reported the most cases in the private industry sector and small establishment reported the fewest number of cases.

-The service-providing industry reported 2.2 million occupational injuries, which equates to roughly a little more than 75 percent of the injuries in the private sector for 2010. The goods-producing industry reported the next highest number of recordable injury cases in 2010.

-The goods-producing industry reported 29.1 illness cases per 10,000 full-time workers in 2009. In 2010, the incidence rate grew to 31.8 and accounted for 36 percent of all illness cases recorded at work in any industry.

-Of all the goods-producing industries, the manufacturing industry was the highest sub-sector to report illness cases in 2010. The 2010 incidence rate was 41.9 illness cases per 10,000 full-time equivalent workers.

-Local and state government employees reported 5.7 illness and injury cases per 100 full-time workers or approximately 820,300 cases overall in 2010.

-Approximately 4 out of every 5 illnesses and injuries in the public sector in 2010 were local government workers. The incidence rate was significantly higher for local government workers in 2010 than state government workers at 6.1 cases to 4.6 cases per 100 full-time employees respectively.

Contact the Georgia workers’ compensation lawyers at J. Franklin Burns, P.C. to discuss your injury or illness suffered at work. If you need advice or need to file a disability claim in Atlanta or the surrounding areas, call 1-404-303-7770 for a free appointment.

More Blog Entries:

New OSHA Materials to Help Prevent Fatal Trenching Accidents in Atlanta and Elsewhere, Georgia Workers’ Compensation Attorney Blog, October 21, 2011.

OSHA Asks Stakeholders for Ideas to Help Reduce Hearing-Related Accidents in Georgia, Nation, Georgia Workers’ Compensation Attorney Blog, October 7, 2011.