Thousands of people are injured each year in South Carolina while at work, some of them seriously. Fortunately, the rate of workplace injuries has been steadily declining both in the state and across the nation for the past 11 years. A recent report released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, revealed that 2013’s numbers continued the trend of statistical decline of work-related injuries.
The year brought a total of 3 million reported workplace injuries. Although high, this number was still lower than the numbers from 2012 and the decrease occurred even as the economy’s improvement has brought more people back into the workforce. The incidence rate of reported injuries was 3.3 cases out of 100 workers.
Within the private sector, declines were reported by the retail, utility and manufacturing industries. Other private industry rates remained unchanged. The rates for state and local government employers also declined. Government employee injury rates still far out-stripped those of the private sector, with incidence rates of 5.2 cases per 100 workers. Still, the incidence rates fell from 2012’s reported 5.6 cases per 100 government workers.
Several factors have led to the declining rates of on-the-job injuries. Tighter regulatory controls, better oversight, better enforcement and more proactive preventative measures have all helped. Still, the rates demonstrate that despite the improvements, many people are still injured each year while at work. An employee who is injured on the job may be able to recover benefits to compensate for his or her losses through filing a workers’ compensation claim. South Carolina’s employers are mandated to provide workers’ compensation coverage for their employees specifically to help protect them in the event of workplace injuries. Workers’ compensation may cover the employee’s related care costs and medical expenses as well as a portion of their lost income.
Source: Occupational Health & Safety, “Three Million Workplace Injuries and Illnesses in 2013: BLS“, December 09, 2014