The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has crunched a full year’s worth of data since it launched severe injury reporting regulations at the start of 2015. This regulation requires employers in South Carolina and around the country to inform the agency within 24 hours of in-patient hospitalizations, amputations and eye losses of workers. The results revealed that 7,636 hospitalizations were reported along with 2,644 amputations in 2015.
Workplace accidents that required in-patient care clustered in industries such as manufacturing, construction and transportation and warehousing. Manufacturing led the way with 26 percent of hospitalizations. Accidents involving construction workers accounted for 19 percent, and 11 percent arose from accidents in transportation and warehousing. Manufacturing workers experienced over half of the amputations. Construction workers had 10 percent of the reported amputations.
OSHA uses reports from employers about these serious injuries to increase responsiveness to safety hazards. When making a report, an employer must explain the cause of the accident. The administration designed the reporting process to make employers immediately evaluate safety problems. OSHA also frequently requires the employers to perform an internal investigation and submit proposals about how safety will be improved. The administration initiated this action in 62 percent of severe injury cases that were reported in 2015.
Even when safety precautions are rigorously followed, on-the-job accidents will continue to occur. In addition the need for medical care, person who is injured on the job may face financial problems as a result of not being able to return to work for a prolonged period. People who are in this position may want to have legal assistance when applying for workers’ compensation benefits that can often include partial wage replacement.