The Bureau of Labor Statistics has released the 2012 data on occupational injuries and illnesses requiring days away from work. Our Atlanta workers’ compensation lawyers know the news wasn’t great for workers despite the decline in the rate of nonfatal occupational injury and illnesses cases requiring days away from work that occurred from 2011 to 2012.The rate of injuries or illnesses requiring days away from work decreased but the median number of days that an injured or ill worker took off increased in 2012 by a full day. This could suggest that the injuries that were occurring were more serious in 2012. Trends also suggest that certain types of workplace injury risks are increasing. Employers need to be aware of the top risks that workers face and need to take affirmative steps to try to reduce some of the biggest dangers on the job.
Increases in Certain Workplace Injury Risks
In 2012, one of the biggest changes in terms of workplace injuries necessitating time away from work involved the increase in the number of workplace injury cases resulting from violence and other injuries caused by people or animals. The total number of workplace violence cases increased six percent in 2012, and the rate of workers severely enough by violence to miss a days work increased to four cases for every 10,000 full-time workers. While this may not seem like a lot, it is important to realize that there are many thousands of workers each year who suffer workplace injury because they are exposed to on-the-job violence.
While violence could sometimes simply happen at work even without a direct connection to work, such as when an abused spouse’s angry partner shows up at work and engages in a violent act, there are also times when the risk of violence is tied directly to the job. For example, in 2012, those working in the social assistance sector and the health care sector experienced a six percent increase in the number of workers injured or made ill.
As the baby boomer population ages and there is ever-more demand for health care and social assistance aids to provide needed assistance for senior patients, it is likely that the rate of workplace injury due to violence will continue to grow. Unfortunately, senior patients with conditions like dementia simply don’t understand and cannot help their actions. Employers, however, can and should help those who work in the healthcare industry to put best practices into place that reduce the risk of being hurt on the job.
If an employee is put at risk of violence on-the-job due to negligent security or due to performing his or her job duties, the employee may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits and may be able to take other legal action depending upon who was to blame. A work injury attorney can provide more information to employees affected by workplace violence.
If you or a loved one has been injured on the job, contact J. Franklin Burns, P.C., to speak with an experienced attorney. For a free consultation call 1-866-328-4978 today.