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Workplace injuries and illnesses on the decline

Safety on the job is important to most California businesses and others in the country. In fact, recent data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics showed that the rate of workplace injuries and illnesses for the private industry has been on the decline for the past five years. The rate has actually decreased every year since 2003, except for 2012 when there was no annual change.

In addition to the private industry figures, other categories saw improvements as well. There was also a decline in the rate for state and local government workers. While the overall number for full-time equivalent employees is down, officials state that the number is not low enough.

A former administrator of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration emphasizes that seemingly small percentages still represent millions of workers being hurt on the job. In fact, the lower rate of 3.2 per 100 employees for all types of workers still represents over 3.53 million employees. Furthermore, based on documentation from hospitals and workers' compensation claims, it appears that employers have not fully reported all injuries and illnesses that occur on the job.

A panel comprised of several industry decision makers will tentatively propose ways to improve data collection on workplace injuries and illnesses in 2018. One indicator that remained unchanged was the rate of injuries that resulted in an absence from work of at least one day. The report was compiled from information obtained from roughly 240,000 employees.

While workplace injuries and illnesses are declining in California and elsewhere, they can still inevitably occur. When an individual has been hurt while on the job, he or she has a right to workers' comp benefits. It would prove beneficial to contact a knowledgeable workers' compensation attorney for assistance. An experienced lawyer will work diligently to ensure that their clients receive all the benefits to which they are entitled.

Source: bna.com, "Workplace Injury, Illness Rates Decline for Fifth Straight Year," Bruce Rolfsen, Nov. 9. 2017

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