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Workplace Injury Trends Reveal Longer Recovery Times

personal injury lawyers in Massachusetts note there were fewer serious workplace injuries in 2012 as compared with 2011. This seems like great news, as this means that there were less people who got badly hurt on the job and who had to cope with the costs and pain of receiving treatment and struggling to recover. However, the workplace injury stats for 2012 also indicate that workers on average were staying out of work longer because of injuries last year. not-so-healthy-1412909-m.jpg

The data, therefore, indicates that while there have been fewer reported serious workplace injuries overall in the last year, the ones that did happen were worse than in the year prior.

Worker Injury Trends in 2012 vs. 2011

According to Safety News Alert, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported the nonfatal occupational injuries that required days away from work in 2012 was 112 per 10,000 full-time workers. This is down from 117 injuries per 10,000 workers requiring days away from work in 2011. This reflects a two percent decrease in the number of injuries that were serious enough to necessitate time off to recuperate.

However, the median days away from work was eight days in 2011 and was up to nine days in 2012. The majority of the injuries that cause days away from work to recover are overexertion injuries, which accounted for as many as 63 percent of cases of workers needing time off. Slips, trips and falls were the second most common reason for DAWF cases and accounted for 23 percent of situations where a worker had to take time off. There was no other cause of injury that necessitated days-away-from work to recover that accounted for more than five percent of incidents.

Ergonomic injuries were one of the most common type of injury that resulted in workers needing to stay home. Also called musculoskeletal disorder cases (MSD), ergonomic injuries accounted for 34 percent of all injuries in both 2011 and 2012. However, the median days away from work as a result of ergonomic injuries was up from 11 days in 2011 to 12 days in 2012. Those who work in labor and freight and who are responsible for stocking and moving material accounted for the largest number of workers who suffered musculoskeletal disorders in 2012, up to 164 cases of MSD injuries per 10,000 workers from just 140 cases of MSD per 100,000 workers in 2011.

When workers are forced to take time off from work to recover from injuries, workers’ compensation laws mandate that they may receive pay for lost wages after they have been away from work for at least five total or partial calendar days. A worker doesn’t receive payment for the first five days of missed work unless his condition lasts for at least 21 calendar days.

Workers’ compensation insurers, therefore, are having to pay larger lost wages claims as workers suffer more serious injury and are forced to be away from work for a longer period of time. Workers may also recover lost wages as part of a personal injury claim against any third party who is responsible for their workplace injury.

If you or someone you love has been injured in an accident, contact Jeffrey S. Glassman for a free and confidential appointment to discuss your rights. Call 888-367-2900.

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Safety Must Be Top Priority As Two Boston Bus Carriers Try to Get Back on the Road, Boston Personal Injury Attorney Blog, October 12, 2013