Study: Work Injuries Requiring Days Away from Work

Posted By Thomas F. Martin, PLC || 21-Dec-2012

The rate of nonfatal occupational injury and illness cases requiring days away from work to recuperate was 117 cases per 10,000 full-time workers in 2011, statistically unchanged from 2010, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The total number of private industry, state government, and local government cases with days away from work remained statistically unchanged at 1,181,290. The median days away from work–a key measure of severity of injuries and illnesses–was 8 days, the same as the previous year. (See table 1.)

Key Findings:

  • Occupational injuries and illnesses to workers in five occupations accounted for nearly 20 percent of the days-away-from-work cases in 2011: laborers; nursing aides and orderlies and attendants; janitors and cleaners; heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers; and police officers and sheriff’s patrol officers. Police officers had an incidence rate per 10,000 full-time workers that was five times greater than for all occupations; the rate for laborers was three times greater than the rate for all workers. (See table 4 and table B.)
  • The proportion of injuries and illnesses was highest among workers age 45-54–accounting for 26 percent of the total cases in 2011. (See table 6.) In private industry, workers in this age group had decreases in case counts and incidence rates, as did workers age 16-19 and 65 and over. Injuries and illnesses to workers age 55-64 in manufacturing increased 6 percent to 21,660 cases; workers age 20-24 had a 13 percent increase in the same industry. (See table 8.)
  • Among private industry workers, injuries and illnesses to workers with 1-5 years of service with an employer accounted for 35 percent of the cases–despite an 11 percent decrease. However, the number of days-away-from-work cases increased for workers with fewer than 3 months-of-service (up 3 percent) and 3-11 months-of-service (up 7 percent). In the agriculture, forestry, fishing, and hunting industry, there was a 32 percent increase in the number of cases for workers with 3-11 months-of-service. (See table 8.)
  • Musculoskeletal disorder (MSD) cases (387,820) accounted for 33 percent of all injury and illness cases in 2011. Six occupations accounted for 26 percent of the MSD cases in 2011: nursing assistants; laborers; janitors and cleaners; heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers; registered nurses; and stock clerks. Heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers required a median of 21 days away from work to recuperate, compared to 11 days for all workers who sustained an MSD. (See table 18.)

For more information and to review the full report, please visit the Bureau of Labor Statistics website.

If you have been impacted by a work injury, please contact Thomas F. Martin PLC immediately by completing a free case evaluation form or by calling (714) 594-5389. We will review your potential case at no charge and let you know if we can help.

Categories: Workers Compensation
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