Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is vested with the responsibility for administered federal workplace health and safety programs. While many states are under OSHA guidelines, some are not. OSHA recently collected data from states which are under its purview. This data was designed to reveal serious injuries in the workplace, including injuries which can result in workers' compensation claims.
The data collection effort began on January 1, 2015, when new OSHA mandates went into effect. Starting on January 1 and continuing in perpetuity, employers are now required to make a report to OSHA within 24 hours of a worker experiencing an injury on-the-job which necessitates inpatient hospitalization. Employers also must report injuries involving the loss of an eye and/or involving amputation.
More than a year after the initial reporting requirements went into effect, OSHA has released a report on serious injuries in the workplaces in states which follow federal reporting rules. The report shows a troublingly high number of incidents in which workers got hurt, especially in certain sectors. Employers and employees need to be aware of the report's implications, especially within the fields where workers were most likely to be hospitalized or to experience amputations.
Most Dangerous Industries for Amputations and Hospitalizations
OSHA received 10,388 reports of serious injuries and amputations over the course of 2015. The numbers showed around 30 incidents occur each day in which workers sustain a very serious injury while doing their jobs. This included 2,644 incidents in which an amputation occurred and 7,636 incidents in which a worker's injuries on-the-job were serious enough to necessitate admission to a hospital for treatment.
The risks were not equal among different sectors. Manufacturing workers faced the greatest danger. A total of 26 percent of the workers who were hospitalized had manufacturing jobs. The sector with the second highest number of hospitalizations was construction, with 19 percent of injured victims requiring inpatient hospital stays coming from the construction industry.
Manufacturing workers were also the most at risk of amputations. In total, 57 percent of amputations happened within the manufacturing sector. Construction had the second highest number of amputations, and 10 percent of the people who lost a body part on the job worked in construction.
In terms of hospitalizations, transportation and warehousing workers were third and accounted for 10 percent of patients admitted to the hospital with work-related injuries. For amputations, however, wholesale trade workers accounted for five percent of losses of limbs and had the third highest amputation rates.
While the data showing thousands of serious injuries is troubling, OSHA suggests things are actually worse than they appear. As many as 50 percent of serious injuries are likely not being reported despite new mandates. This means employees may be in even greater danger of getting hurt than official statistics show. Workers and employers need to know the risks and take precautions to prevent on-the-job injury.
If you have questions about your workplace accident, contact the Law Office of Robert A. McLaughlin in San Diego for a free case review. To make a successful workers' compensation claim, you will need superb representation. Call 866-324-9558 or contact us online to find out how we can help.