Although the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported a decline in the number of workplace injuries in 2016 from previous years, the figures are still staggering. What makes matters even worse is the reluctance of many injured workers to report injuries for fear of losing their jobs. These statistics are based solely on those injuries which were reported because there is no way of knowing or even accurately assessing how many others have gone unreported. For now, just take a look at some rather startling figures.
Almost 3 Million Injuries and Illnesses Reported in 2016
According to the BLS, in 2016 there were more than 2.9 million illnesses and injuries reported by employers. These are non-fatal injuries related to the workplace. Oddly, the rate of occurrence was 2.9 non-fatal injuries per 100 employees who work full time, or what is referred to by the Bureau as Full-Time Equivalent, FTE.
How Great Was the Decline Over the Previous Year?
The next question many are asking is in terms of just how great that decline was. Again, according to the BLS, employers reported almost 49,000 fewer non-fatal accidents or illnesses in 2016 than in 2015. To be precise, the Bureau says there were 48,500 fewer reports of non-fatal injuries or illnesses than reported in the previous year. That may sound like a decent rate of decline in workplace injuries, but these are just those which have been reported. It is surprising to learn that many, many more workers are injured but afraid to get the medical attention they need.
Why Workers Fear Reporting Injuries
There are times when workers fear reporting injuries because, quite frankly, they are afraid of the consequences. They fear to lose their jobs. This is a very real fear but one which is easy to understand. It’s all about that almighty bottom line. The cost of worker’s compensation insurance can skyrocket if too many claims are filed in any year and that can filter down to employees. Naturally, employers want to keep expenses to a minimum, but this is not an area which can be played with. If an employee is injured in the course of his or her duties, they have every right to file a worker’s compensation claim. However, the buck doesn’t stop there!
Filing a Personal Injury Claim
Workers who have been injured on the job as a result of some sort of negligence on the part of their employer also have the right to file suit for medical expenses and damages resulting from the injury. Sometimes an employee is injured due to a careless error on their part, but many times the employer was simply negligent and as a result, liable for the incident. If you are injured on the job, don’t be afraid to seek medical attention and file a claim as needed. It is even a more serious offense on the part of any employer who attempts to coerce an employee not to file a claim. You can get answers to any questions you might have but always remember, it is your right to bring suit against a negligent employer. That’s a fact.