What We Can Learn From the Latest Federal Workplace Injury Statistics

What you need to know about the latest workplace injury statistics

Statistics can be a lot of things—shocking, sad, and sometimes even scary. But they can also be educational, and provide us with valuable insights that oftentimes allow us to prevent everyday tragedies.

The latest federal workplace injury statistics released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) from 2015 are all of the above, and our workers' compensation attorneys wanted to share a few things we can learn from them.

First, some positive news: Overall, the rate of workplace injuries and illnesses remains on the decline. In fact, fatal workplace injuries and illnesses have, for the most part, declined annually for the past 13 years.

Now for some not-so-great news: Workplace injuries and illnesses still caused U.S. workers to lose more than 1.15 million days of work in 2015.

Of all private sector industries, these workers required the most days off work to recuperate from workplace injuries or illnesses:

  • Tractor trailer drivers
  • Laborers and freight movers
  • Nursing assistants and social workers

Many private-sector jobs—those in state and local government—saw more injuries than others. In fact, five of these occupations had 100,000 cases or more in 2015:

  • Police officers and sheriffs' deputies
  • Firefighters
  • Custodial workers
  • Correctional officers and jail workers

Here are some other things to keep in mind about the latest federal workplace injury statistics:

1. You are more likely to be injured than sickened at work. Of about 2.9 million accidents that resulted in an employee needing time off work, 2.8 million were caused by an injury. In fact, workplace illness was the reason for time off work in only 4.8 percent of 2015 cases.

2. Sprains and strains are the biggest workplace injury culprits. Fact: In 2015, sprain and strains from overexertion from lifting was to blame for nearly a third of all workplace injuries. Of those, 86 percent happened in private-sector jobs.

3. Beware of slip, trip, and fall hazards at work, too. While work-related sprains and strains accounted for nearly a third of all injuries, slip, trip, and fall accidents weren't far behind. In 2015, slip, trip, and fall accidents composed more than a quarter of all reported workplace accidents.

4. Older workers are at an increased risk of workplace injury. In 2015, workers older than 45 had the highest number of days away from work because of workplace injury or illness. Nationally, employees between the ages of 45 and 54 missed a whopping 280,000 days of work because of them. There's more: Workers between the ages of 55 and 64 were had the highest incidence of workplace injury.

5. More often than not, injured workers will miss work, and more. More than 50 percent of private-sector injuries involved days off work, a job transfer, or a work restriction.

The takeaway? Workplace accidents and injuries happen—but understanding your risk factors and learning how to neutralize them can help. To learn more, visit our website, which has many valuable resources for workers.

We hope your life is never touched by a workplace injury or illness, but if it is, please know that our experienced legal team can help you. Since 1982, our attorneys have represented people injured on the job get the workers' compensation and other benefits they deserve.

If you or someone you know suffered a workplace injury, don't delay—call the workers' compensation attorneys at Edgar Snyder & Associates today. We're available 24 to answer all your legal questions, there's never an obligation to use our services, and there's never a fee unless we get money for you.

Bureau of Labor Statistics