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Despite drop in accidents, employer defense still important

Many employers may be paying attention to the trend in number of injuries in the workplace. Employers in California may be happy to hear that injuries in the workplace have been declining significantly statewide. Although this can result in a decreased chance of an injured worker claim and need for an employer defense, an employer should always be prepared.

The California Department of Industrial Relations and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics have recently released their Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses. The survey showed that during 2014 there were 265,000 workplace injuries that resulted in lost time at work for employees, transferring of a job or restricting an employee from duty. This is significantly less than the 694,100 workplace injuries reported in 2002 and the 468,400 reported in 2013.

Among the 2014 cases of workplace injuries, over 140,000 resulted in workers taking days off from work. Approximately 59 percent of the workplace injuries which resulted in workers taking days off from work were suffered by Latinos, according to the recently released report. It turns out that young workers between the ages of 16 and 19 had the highest number of days off from work resulting from a workplace injury. Strains, tears and sprains accounted for approximately 35 percent of the injuries that forced workers to take days off from work.

However, even though workplace injuries seem to be decreasing across California, there are many still occurring and employers should still be wary of the need for an employer defense strategy. Workplace accidents still happen and can easily result in an injured worker claim. In these cases, employers may want to take legal action in order to protect their financial interests.

Source: californiahealthline.org, "Survey: Workplace Injuries, Illnesses Reach 13-Year Low in California", November 25, 2015

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