Every seven seconds, a worker is injured on the job. That equates to 510 per hour, 12,600 a day, 88,500 a week, and 4,600,000 a year. Here are some other staggering statistics on workplace injuries (plus preventative tips):
- In 2017, 104,000,000 production days were lost to work-related injuries.
- The most common workplace injuries are sprains, strains, and tears, soreness and pain, and cuts, lacerations, or punctures.
- Overexertion causes 33.54% of all injuries. This includes lifting and lowering objects and repetitive motions. It’s important to take frequent short breaks and to avoid bending, reaching, and twisting while lifting objects.
- Twenty-six percent of injuries are caused by contact with objects or equipment. This means being struck by or against equipment or objects, caught in or compressed by equipment or objects, or being struck, caught, or crushed by a collapsing structure. To prevent these situations, store heavy objects close to the floor. Be aware of movement in your work area, and wear the proper personal protective equipment.
- Slips, trips, and falls cause 25.8% of injuries. This includes falls to a lower level and falls on the same level. Ladders should be placed on even, solid surfaces. Good housekeeping practices can also help prevent these injuries.
- Thirty-eight percent of the U.S. workforce reports being sleep-deprived. The number of reported safety incidents is 30% higher during night shifts.
- The cost of work injuries in 2018 amounted to $170.8 billion.
- In 2017, Maine ranked the highest in workplace injuries and illnesses with a rate of 4.8 per 100 workers. Louisiana ranked the lowest at 1.9 per 100 workers.
- The top five occupations with the largest number of workplace injuries requiring time off from work are service (including police and firefighters); transportation/shipping; manufacturing/production; installation, maintenance, and repair; and construction.
Unfortunately, preventable workplace deaths have been on the rise. In 2018, 5,250 workers died on the job, which was a 2% increase from 5,147 in 2017. Here are some startling insights into workplace fatalities:
- Transportation incidents cause 40% of work-related fatalities. Slips, trips, and falls cause 17%, and 16% are the consequence of violence.
- The top three occupations with the most fatalities in 2017 were sales-related drivers and truckers; farmers, ranchers, and agricultural managers; and grounds maintenance workers.
- Workplace fatalities have increased by 50% since 2011.
- In 2017, Alaska and North Dakota ranked highest in work-related death rates at 10 deaths per 100,000 workers. New Jersey and New Hampshire ranked the lowest with 1.6 deaths per 100,000 workers.
Safety is ultimately the employer’s responsibility, but workers can strive to make safer choices every day. You can take the National Safety Council’s Safe at Work Pledge, found here. The pledge includes promises to never compromise your own safety or the safety of others to get the job done; to look out for hazards, report them promptly, and take action to warn others; and to be a good safety role model both on and off the clock.