Workplace injuries can happen in any type of employment. It is imperative to understand how the statistics translate to workers’ compensation claims. Information for previous years is slowly being assessed and calculated. A recent post discussed the improvement in the state’s fatal work accident statistics. Also improving is the rate of non-fatal workplace injuries and illness. Despite that, there will inevitably be workplace accidents, injuries and illnesses. Those who are affected by this should understand their rights to workers’ compensation.

According to the Louisiana Workforce Commission, the number of non-fatal injuries and illnesses at work for private sector workers was steady in 2016. This information is from a survey by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The number of accidents in which a worker was not killed has lowered significantly in the past decade-and-a-half. In the state, the rates are among the nation’s lowest when they are examined in national averages for the past 10 years.

In Louisiana in 2016, there were 1.9 incidents for every 100 full-time equivalent employees. That has remained static from 2015. Nationally, the average was 2.9. 41 states across the nation took part and Louisiana was among the lowest, just behind the District of Columbia. This has been a trend since the Occupational Safety and Health Administration changed the rules as to how records were kept in 2002.

There was improvement in numerous jobs. Construction had a reduction of 0.4; information workers had 0.3 fewer incidents; health care and social assistance were also 0.3 lower; arts, entertainment and recreation was reduced by 0.4; manufacturing was down 0.2; transportation and warehousing was down 0.2; and management of companies and enterprises was reduced by 0.2. These are all calculated by 100 employees.

Safety improvements and the reduction in workplace accidents and injuries is an inherently positive development. It must be remembered, however, that despite these improvements, there are still many people who are injured and miss time at work because of their injuries or conditions. In some cases, they are not able to return to work at all, have vast medical expenses and personal costs that can rise exponentially as time passes. Having workers’ compensation and other possible benefits is key for these injured workers.

Source: insurancejournal.com, “Worker Injury Incidence Rate in Louisiana in 2016 Among the Lowest,” Feb. 14, 2018