Although each state’s workplace safety statistics can be affected by the prevalent industries in the area, South Carolina workers and employers can benefit from an awareness of national trends. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, those working in nursing homes and hospitals face particularly high safety risks on the job. Construction is another area with high injury rates in the private sector.
BLS dataindicates that workplace injuries and illnesses decreased in 2015 from the previous year. Overall, there was a 3 percent rate of incidents in the private sector. However, the rate for nursing home workers being injured was 12.1 percent. The rate of injury for hospital workers was approximately 8 percent, which was also the approximate injury rate for the construction industry. Other interesting statistics indicate that injury rates tended to be higher for those working for local governments than for those involved in private industries.
On a state-by-state basis, there were not unusual trends noted in the 2015 statistics. However, there could be incomplete information about injuries based on issues such as inadequate reporting. Additionally, issues such as downturns in certain industries could have lowered injury rates from prior years. Further, statistics for job-related illnesses that take long periods to become evident were not necessarily well-reported.
Workers’ compensation benefits are designed to help those who are injured or who become ill because of their work. Injuries can be particularly easy to identify and report, but a failure to report could occur in cases of minor injuries that require little or no attention. Additionally, a failure to report some injuries could be related to employer pressures on workers. Illnesses can be difficult to identify, but those that can be connected to work conditions should be covered by workers’ compensation insurance. Legal assistance might be important if the employer attempts to dispute the claim.