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A Closer Look at the BLS' Findings on 2009 Workplace Injuries

In workers' compensation defense news, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released the 2009 Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses last week.

The 2009 Survey reveals that the total number of recorded nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses among private industry employers was 3.3 million, a rate of exactly 3.6 cases per 100 full-time employees.

This represents a significant drop from the 2008 Survey, which measured the total number of recorded nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses among private industry employers at 3.7 million, a rate of 3.9 per 100 full-time employees.

In a released statement, Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis expressed enthusiasm over the decline in workplace injuries and illnesses, but stressed the need for further action to protect workers.

"While the reported decline in workplace injuries and illnesses is encouraging, 3.3 million workplace injuries and illnesses are 3.3 million too many... Complete and accurate workplace injury records can serve as the basis for employer programs to investigate injuries and prevent future occurrences ...We are concerned about the widespread existence of programs that discourage workers from reporting injuries, and we will continue to issue citations and penalties to employers that intentionally under-report workplace injuries... Even in these difficult economic times, we must keep in mind that no job is a good job unless it's a safe job."

Why are these figures so important for employers?

Employers in all industries should take the time to review the 2009 Survey and consider implementing the necessary measures to facilitate the reporting, investigation and prevention of injuries/illnesses.

The next post will continue to examine the 2009 Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses ...

This post was provided for informational purposes only and is not to be construed as legal or medical advice.

Stay tuned for further developments in the area of workers' compensation defense law ...

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1 Comment

Hopefully the drop in workplace injuries can be attributed to increased action by business leaders to protect their employees. I feel that the number of workplace injuries is still too high, but with the increasing emphasis on workplace safety rules and regulations, hopefully the number of reported injuries will decline faster. Workplace injuries can be costly for employers. Case management software can be part of any accident prevention program, as employees can report broken machinery, unsafe equipment and other workplace hazards. This way, employers are immediately aware of the danger and can fix the problem right away.

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