Every year, roughly 6,000 Indiana businesses take part in an analysis conducted by the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to produce a summary in the Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses (SOII). The purpose of the survey is to estimate and calculate the trend of nonfatal occupational injuries and illness rates obtained in the workplace. To obtain the data, the BLS reaches out to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) as all work-related injuries must be reported to this administration.
In Indiana, there are 18 major industry fields ranging from administrative and information to construction and healthcare. An estimated 70 percent of these fields saw decreases in their nonfatal injury and illness rates in the previous years (2015-2016) while roughly 20 percent of industries saw a rise in reported injuries. Only 10 percent remained the same.
There are a number of factors that can affect these numbers: company management, dedicated employees, agencies, outreach programs, trade and labor organizations, and overall health.
As some fields have experienced either an increase or no change in work-related injuries and illnesses, this can, in part, be due to the nature of the fields. Some fields simply come with more risk to the health and safety of workers.
Although it can be discouraging to think that some industries will always have certain risks, it can also be encouraging that these risks are known. Because of this, employers can expect some common work-related injuries and develop preventative policies to decrease the likelihood of these injuries:
- Overexertion: This occurs when a muscle is pulled or a joint is out of place caused by lifting, pushing, or throwing something typically beyond the body’s normal range of motion. This injury is common in factory, construction, or other manual labor jobs.
- Slipping and Falling: Commonly because of wet floors, inadequate railing, or icy sidewalks, employees can injure a number of body parts such as their back, neck, legs, hips, or head.
- Machine Accidents: Machine accidents are common for construction and factory workers. Many states require employees to have extra certification or training to operate heavy machinery to prevent such injuries.
- Roadway Accident: Several Muncie employees are on the road, traveling on work-related business rather than standing on the assembly line. Because of this, employees might be injured on the road, and injuries from a car accident could be covered by workers’ compensation.
Improving Injury Risks
Each industry field brings its own set of dangers and risks. The Indiana Department of Labor (IDOL) wants to continue pursuing multiple avenues that promote safety, health, and prosperity in the workplace for employees along with educating employers about best practices, raising the level of standard, and programming. Some effective elements to include in programming are:
- Giving workers more than adequate information
- Encouraging the report of injuries promptly
- Connecting the message of prevention to potential injuries
- Showing support for injured workers
- Promoting the return to work effectively
The Indiana Department of Labor has created a division called INSafe to be a safety and health compliance assistance program for Indiana employers for free. This partnership consults on how to reduce work-related injuries. Other partnerships are with the Voluntary Protection Program (VPP) and the Indiana Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program (INSHARP). IDOL works to advance the decline of work-related injuries and illnesses but can only do so much depending on the cooperation of employers.
Consult a Muncie Workers’ Compensation Attorney
The working theory is that a decrease in workplace risks will lead to a decrease in injured workers. Abstractly, this seems like a good theory; however, accidents cannot always be avoided or prevented. When an employee is injured, filing a workers’ compensation claim may seem daunting. You deserve to recover damages for the work that you do each day. Seek the advice of experienced attorneys who can help navigate the process with you and offer their best knowledge. The workers’ compensation attorneys of Hensley Legal Group are available for free consultations; call or contact us online today.