The workplace safety standards improve year after year, yet America seems to be experiencing an overall increase in employee injuries and deaths. Our workers remain at risk of severe illness, injury and death from workplace accidents like these (and many others):
- Chemical plant explosions
- Construction trench or scaffold collapses
- Uncontrollable workplace fires
- Hazardous material handling incidents
- Preventable exposure to infectious diseases
The U.S. offers residents numerous job opportunities across a wide variety of industries. It is wise to get the facts about the injury risks associated with an industry or occupation before accepting a position.
California workplaces appear risky
In 2020, California reported more worker illnesses and injuries than any other state after topping out at 355,200. Below are several more 2020 work injury (and death) statistics of interest to employees in the state.
- About 3.2 million nonfatal illnesses and injuries occurred
- A U.S. worker died every 111 minutes
- Most fatalities occurred in employees aged 55 to 64
- Occupational transportation incidents caused the most deaths
- Healthcare and social service industries experienced the most nonfatal illnesses and injuries (over 800,000)
- Fires and explosions have the highest casualty rate causing about 3% of occupational injuries
The statistics also show that improper construction-related fall protection remains the most-commonly violated OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) standard. Unfortunately, falling is a leading cause of injury and death in the construction industry.
As a piece of good news, the workplace fatality rate in 2020 dropped considerably. The number of occupational deaths recorded in 2019 is 5,333. That number fell to 4,764 in 2020.
Remain vigilant to the risks associated with your job, and if an illness or injury occurs, preserve your right to seek workers’ compensation benefits. If you have trouble with your claim, learn more about the state workers’ compensation program.