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An Overview of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses

By Jeffrey Sterling, MD July 20, 2019

Introduction

workplace injuries and danger

This post discusses workplace injuries.

Many of us work in fields in which it is accurate to state “My job makes me sick!” Accordingly, occupational illnesses and injuries take a massive toll on us. Whether we’re describing exposure to chemicals, workplace injuries, or workplace hazards and diseases, the number of cases of occupational injuries and illnesses has become incredibly prevalent. As a result, such occurrences are now factored into job planning.

workplace_illness3 asbestos

Statistics on Workplace Injuries

Consider the following dreadful statistics from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics for the year 2016.

  • A total of 5,190 fatal work injuries were recorded in the United States in 2016. Accordingly, this represents a 7% increase from the 4,836 fatal injuries reported in 2015.
  • There were approximately 2.9 million nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses reported by private industry employers in 2016. This occurred at a rate of 3.0 cases per 100 equivalent full-time workers.

There is a massive financial toll associated with this loss of life and function. As such, the annual cost in the US for occupational injuries and illnesses is estimated at $192 billion dollars. This includes workers’ compensation and other insurance claims, medical expenses and other associated healthcare costs (e.g. physical and occupational therapy, home health, etc.), lost wages and productivity.

workplace illness

Additional Straight, No Chaser posts will focus on some of the more common and concerning aspects of occupational illnesses and injuries. These include the following:

  • Anthrax
  • Back pain
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
  • Depression in the Workplace
  • Electrical Safety
  • Fall Injuries
  • Flu in the Workplace
  • Noise Exposure
  • Poisonous Plants
  • Reproductive Health in the Workplace

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