According to a report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released this past November, the rate of workplace injuries and illnesses throughout 2019 remained stable from the previous year, staying at around 2.8 million nonfatal injuries and illnesses. In another BLS report, which was released in December, noted that the number of workplace fatalities went up during the same period of time. Together, these show a picture of a workplace environment that grew more deadly even as the overall number of illnesses and injuries remained the same.
Looking at the Statistics
The BLS examined the number of workplace illnesses, injuries, and deaths that happened throughout 2019, and found that overall the number of nonfatal injuries and deaths that occurred was roughly the same as that which happened in 2018. Overall, there were 2.8 million nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses that occurred in 2019, or about 2.8 nonfatal injuries and illnesses per 100 full time employees. Most of these are attributed to the healthcare industry, manufacturing, retail, food services, and transportation and warehousing.
Things look differently when examining the rate of workplace fatalities, however. According to BLS, there were 5,333 workplace fatalities in 2019, a two percent increase over 2018. On average, this meant that one person died as a result of a workplace injury or illness every 99 minutes across the United States. Most of this increase is attributed to an increase in falls, slips and trips, which were up by 11 percent throughout the year, as well as a slight increase in transportation accidents and exposure to harmful environments or substances. By comparison, the number of injuries from fires and explosions went down by 14 percent, as did injuries from contact with objects and equipment.
What it Means
BLS does not provide explanations as to why certain kinds of workplace fatalities went up or why others went down. However, the increase in fatalities overall is a troubling trend, meaning people are somewhat more likely to die as a result of a workplace injury than they were previously. People should particularly be careful about slip and falls, as well as dangerous substances, which proved to be especially dangerous in 2019.
Looking to the Future
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, it is likely that these numbers will look much differently in 2020 than they were in 2019. However, it may take a long time to determine which illnesses and injuries were workplace related, due to all the possible places that someone might be infected by COVID-19. Nevertheless, it is very likely that when all the factors are accounted for, 2020 will look very differently from 2019 and 2018.
If you or a loved one has suffered an injury while working on the job, it’s important to get the legal representation you need to remedy the situation and get compensation for the harm you and your loved ones have suffered. The lawyers at Levine and Slavit, PLLC are experienced in representing New York City and Long Island residents in construction site and other workplace accident cases. To schedule a free consultation, contact our New York City construction accident lawyers at (212) 687-2777 or for our Long Island construction accident lawyers call (516) 294-8282.