In 2015 there were approximately 2.9 million private workplace injuries in the US, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. Obviously, any number of workplace injuries is too many. However, 2.9 million is an encouraging number because it is 48,000 injuries fewer than the year before. This is part of a 13 year trend of declining injury rates.
The smallest businesses (1-10 employees) consistently have the lowest rates of injury, while the middle-sized companies (50-249 employees) have the highest. Roughly half of the recorded injuries required days away from the job, and 75% of all injuries occurred in the service industries (as opposed to manufacturing).
Government workers have an annual injury rate of approximately 5 in 100, while private workers sit around 3 in 100.
Better strategies for following safety precautions are obviously helping to push the declining injury rate, but there are some great innovations and inventions by these businesses themselves that are also moving the trend along.
Exciting examples of this were awarded prizes at the Safety Congress and Expo in Columbus, Ohio this year, hosted by the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC).
- There were simple machines like the Scaffold caddy, designed by Holloway, Henderson & Martin LLC, which is made to carry heavy metal and wooden scaffold pieces into and around build sites.
- There were complex innovations like the Pneumatically-operated cylinder clamp implemented at ICP Adhesives and Sealants, which decreased the chance of hazardous chemical spills to almost zero.
- And there were even remote-controlled robots, like the ones used by C and K Industrial Services for safer pressure-washing, especially in confined spaces.
As a business insurance brokerage, we know that work can never be perfectly safe. But seeing the workforce become safer and safer every year is always great news.