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Reportable Illnesses and Injuries at Work a Concern for Workers’ Compensation Lawyers in Atlanta, Statewide

We posted previously on our Georgia Workers’ Compensation Attorney Blog that there were 4,500 work-related deaths in 2010. Translation: work accidents in Georgia and nationwide are killing workers at a rate of 3.5 per 100,000 full-time equivalent employees on average, and roughly 12 workers are losing their lives every single day while at work.
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According to U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics 2010 Workplace Illness and Injury report recently released, employers are reporting illness and injuries pretty frequently too. In 2010, there were almost 3.1 million illnesses and injuries reported among private industry employers that did not result in fatality.

Our Workers’ Compensation attorneys in Atlanta can’t help but wonder how many workplace injuries or illnesses go unreported because an employee is either scared to report, thinks an injury is minor and doesn’t need reporting, or employers try to cover up an illness or injury so they can continue to exhibit an impeccable record. We urge workers to always report or get medical attention for work injuries, no matter how insignificant they may seem. You never know what can come from these health issues weeks, months or even years down the road.

We find these key findings worth mentioning:

-In 2009, the incidence rate of cases per 100 full-time equivalent employees was 3.6. In 2010, there was a slight improvement to 3.5 cases per 100 workers.

-Total recordable cases with regard to incidence rates combining illness and injuries for private industry job sites declined significantly.

-Healthcare and social assistance employees recorded a rate of 5.2 cases per 100 full-time employees for illnesses and injuries in 2010. This was a slight improvement from the 2009 rate of cases, which was 5.4. Interestingly, we note health care and social assistance was the only private industry sector that reported more job growth and hours worked in 2010 than in 2009.

-The manufacturing industry reported 4.3 cases per 100 full-time employees in 2009. In 2010, the rate of cases increased to 4.4. The manufacturing industry was the only private industry sector to show an increase in incidence rates from one year to the next when reporting illness and injuries. This likely is a result of fewer hours worked rather than fewer illness and injury cases being reported.

-There was a 7 percent decrease in total recordable cases in the private construction industry sector in 2010. The incident rate changed from 4.0 cases per 100 full-time equivalent workers in 2010 from 4.3 in 2009. Specialty trade laborers showed a similar decrease reporting 4.3 cases in 2010, which was a .3 decrease from the previous year. We surmise that the decrease in specialty trade contractors had much to do with the overall decrease in the private construction industry.

-State and federal government workers reported incidence rates of 5.7 cases of illness and injuries per 100 full-time equivalent employees. There are over 18 million workers in the national public sector.

-The incidence rate for illness cases overall showed minimal change from 2009 to last year but poisoning was one category that reported an increase. There were 3 reported cases of poisoning for every 10,000 full-time employees in 2010.

The Georgia workers’ compensation attorneys at J. Franklin Burns, P.C. are dedicated to helping victims and their families who are injured or become ill due to a hazardous work environment. Call 1-404-303-7770 to speak with an attorney and receive a free case evaluation.

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 Targets Unsafe Companies Contributing to Work Accidents in Georgia, Nation Georgia Workers’ Compensation Attorney Blog, September 13, 2011.

Georgia Company Gets Slapped with Violations for Failing to Prevent Work-Related Accidents in Atlanta, Georgia Workers’ Compensation Attorney Blog, August 28, 2011.