Some of the highest numbers of work injuries and fatalities since 2007 were reported in 2019. Data may suggest employers are failing to address safety issues.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported 2.8 million nonfatal injuries among American workers in 2019. Meanwhile, 5,333 work-related fatalities occurred – 273 in New York.
According to the most recent data, one out of every five job-related deaths was in the construction industry. Fatalities in construction increased 5% to 1,061, the highest number in over a decade.
Injured employees typically miss more than a week
Comprehensive 2020 workplace injury statistics aren’t yet available. However, the 2019 reports show a disturbing uptick in workplace accidents.
Of the 2.8 million nonfatal injuries reported, BLS data shows:
- 295,180 sprains, strains and torn muscles
- 244,000 falls, slips and trips
- 136,190 back injuries
More than 888,000 888 injuries resulted in employees missing days from work. On average, workers missed eight days to recover.
OSHA lists its top 10 workplace violations
Experts say proper safety measures and training would likely have eliminated many of these injuries.
Employers would be wise to consider the top 10 safety violations cited last year:
- Fall protection
- Hazard communication
- Respiratory protection
- Electricity and other hazardous energy
- Powered industrial trucks
- Falls due to training deficiencies
- Eye and face protection
- Machine guarding
In all, OSHA reported issuing more than 24,000 citations to employers.
Employers are ultimately responsible for following safety regulations. They should be prepared to take accountability if concerns go unaddressed.