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Facts about work-related illnesses and injuries for 2013

Employees in North Carolina may be surprised to learn that there were approximately three million work-related injuries and illnesses that transpired in private industries throughout the U.S. in 2013. That means that for every 100 employees working full-time, there were 3.3 incidents of on-the-job illnesses or injuries reported, according to a report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics issued on Dec. 4.

However, in the past decade or so, these numbers have been steadily decreasing due to efforts by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, employers and state and federal government agencies in helping to ensure a safe work environment. It was also reflected in the report that there was a decrease among workers requesting a restriction, job transfer or time off due to a severe work-related injury or illness in 2013.

Although the total amount of local and state government employees who suffered a reported work-related illness or injury in 2013 slightly declined since the previous year, the amount is much higher than the amount of workers injured in the private industry sector. As for utilities, retail trade and manufacturing sector employees, there was a major decline in the reported amount of work-related illnesses and injuries that occurred in 2013. However, the statistics remained the same in regards to different private industry divisions. In regards to the manufacturing industry, there were more restriction only and job transfer cases than days away from work cases. However, in 2013, the rates for these types of cases slightly declined.

In North Carolina, any worker who suffers an on-the-job accident or injury has the right to apply for workers' compensation benefits to cover his or her losses such as medical bills, a weekly percentage of the worker's wages and payments for injuries that are permanent or disabling in nature. In the event the claim is disputed or denied, an attorney may be able to help the worker appeal the decision.

Source: Occupational Health & Safety, "Three Million Workplace Injuries and Illnesses in 2013: BLS", December 05, 2014

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