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What kinds of workplace injuries are most common?

Regular readers of our Newburgh workers' compensation blog know we recently looked at which occupations are most dangerous and which are safest. This time around, we are going to look at a new report that details what kinds of workplace injuries are most common, as well as how much time people typically need away from work to recover from their on-the-job injuries.

Data comes from a report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics titled "Workplace Injuries: Analyzing Which Industries, Occupations, and Groups Are Most Affected by Workplace Injuries and Illnesses."

New York workers suffer mercury exposure

Occupational Safety and Health Administration inspectors often drop in on businesses unannounced to look for workplace safety hazards. Sometimes, though, OSHA inspections are carried out because an employee has filed a complaint about work conditions.

Employees of a hazardous materials remediation contractor located less than two hours due north of Newburgh filed a complaint with OSHA. The workers said they were being exposed to mercury at a Superfund site in Schenectady.

What are the safest -- and the most dangerous -- jobs in the U.S.?

According to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, workers across the nation suffered around three million nonfatal work injuries in 2014 alone. As if this wasn't shocking enough, these statistics also reveal that this same year saw 4,821 work-related fatalities.

While these numbers are almost impossible to comprehend given all of the advancements that have been made in everything from medical care to work safety equipment, it's still painfully apparent that we still have a long way to go. Interestingly enough, however, a recently released report by the job and career development website CareerCast may serve to shed some light on where efforts to enhance workplace safety should be centered.

Fighting the good fight

There is no doubt that Newburgh firefighters were saddened to hear about the FDNY firefighters injured earlier this week in an enormous Bronx blaze.

Three firefighters suffered critical on-the-job injuries as the department fought to subdue a fire that engulfed five buildings. Fire marshals later said the conflagration was started by children playing with fire inside a two-story building.

Taking action to reduce construction industry injuries and fatalities

New York construction workers know better than anyone the many dangers in their line of work. From cranes to bulldozers and from nail guns to electrical lines, risks of construction worksite injuries are plentiful.

In order to reduce the number of injuries and fatalities, construction workers and employers should both be ever-vigilant, a construction industry publication noted recently.

Workers' compensation insurance rate rising

New York employers will face higher costs for workers' compensation insurance starting in October, the state Department of Financial Services has decided. The DFS approved an average 9.3 percent hike in the insurance rate; an increase that business owners are not thrilled with, but acknowledge is needed, according to a recent news report.

The DFS superintendent said insurers threatened that they might have to leave the state if their rates didn't go up to cover their costs.

Getting the workers' comp benefits you need and deserve

From the employee's side, a workplace injury is often a mixture of pain, medical treatment, time away from the job and recovery. From the employer's side, the issues are more about one thing: money.

When a New York worker is injured on the job, they are entitled to workers' compensation to pay for medical care and to replace a portion of their lost wages. This part of the safety net is crucial to working people, enabling them to get the care they need and to continue providing for themselves and their families.

Don't Take a Fall at Work

Everyone has taken a fall. Part of learning to walk is learning to fall down. As we get older, spills can often have increasingly serious consequences. For workers, a fall can mean injuries that result in medical bills, lost wages and a diminished earning capacity.

About two-thirds of all fall-related injuries are sustained by adults of working age. About a third of those adults are age 45 to 65 and about a third are ages 18 to 44. The most common type of fall-related injury? Sprains and strains, according to the National Health Interview Survey.

Workplace violence: All-too-common danger for nurses

Nurses from Newburgh to Napa — and everywhere in between — share concerns about safety in the workplace. For many nurses, workplace violence is a regular part of their workdays; a frightening reality that they must deal with every time they report for duty in emergency rooms and other parts of hospitals.

"Not a shift goes by that we’re not exposed to workplace violence," an intensive care nurse recently said, adding that she has had to have four major surgeries as a result of injuries sustained in patient assaults.

Staying safe in the workplace

June is National Safety Month; 30 days in which we should all make an extra effort to reduce the causes of injuries and fatalities in the workplace. The National Safety Council and organizations across New York are trying to raise awareness of safety as well as we drive, and as we go about our business in our communities and homes.

The Safety Council asks everyone to take a pledge to be safe at work. With workplace fatalities on the rise for the first time in six years, the NSC asks employees and employers to take the pledge to reduce on-the-job injuries.

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