California residents may be interested to learn that in 2013, the number of workplace injuries continued a trend demonstrating an overall reduction in their incidence. The year brought three million reported work-related injuries and illnesses across the country, which, while high, is a significant decline from those injured in the previous year.
According to a survey study conducted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the total number of injuries and illnesses reported by private industry employers declined in 2013. Similarly, the incidence of more serious cases involving missed work, resulting work restrictions or injuries necessitating a job transfer also declined.
The manufacturing, retail and utilities industries all demonstrated significant declines in 2013, but the rates for all other private industry sector industries remained unchanged. Among government workers, the rates of injury remained higher than the rates for private industry workers, but still demonstrated declines. In 2013, 5.2 cases were reported per every 100 government workers, a decrease from the 5.6 cases per 100 workers in the previous year.
The fact that the prevalence of workplace injuries and illnesses have continued to decline for a number of years is good news for workers and employers. Even though the numbers demonstrate continued improvement in workplace safety overall, however, workplace accidents causing serious personal injury or illness still do occur. The prevalence of workplace injuries is why California and other states mandate employer participation in the workers' compensation program. When workers are injured while at work, they can file workers' compensation claims in order to seek benefits. These benefits can be used to pay for medical expenses, ongoing treatment needs and partial or total disability payments to help cover lost wages.
Source: Occupational Health & Safety, "Three Million Workplace Injuries and Illnesses in 2013: BLS", December 05, 2014