Pennsylvania is home to one of the largest and most diversified economies in the United States. From construction and manufacturing jobs, to employment in the healthcare, service and transportation industries, Pennsylvanians work hard every day. With greater economic opportunity and job growth, however, comes an inevitable increase in workplace injuries and accidents.
A recent study by the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) revealed 1,595 severe injuries reported at Pennsylvania workplaces in 2015 and 2016. OSHA defines “severe injuries” as any injury resulting in body part loss, organ loss or hospitalization. At Georgelis Injury Law Firm, P.C., we see countless cases of severe workplace injuries and we know how devastating those injuries can be. Let’s take a closer look at:
- How Pennsylvania Ranks among Other States
- Leading Industries for Workplace Injuries
- Underreporting of Severe Workplace Injuries
- What to do If You Are Injured at Work
How Pennsylvania Ranks among Other States in Workplace Injuries
Pennsylvania had the third- highest number of injuries reported in the two-year (2015 to 2016) period, even though it’s sixth in population. The only two states with higher severe injury rates were Texas and Florida. This data is comprised of employers covered by the federal safety program, so, California and 21 other states which have their own OSHA-type programs are not included.
This data first became available when OSHA began requiring in 2015 that employers report work-related severe injuries to the agency. They were already required to report work-related fatalities. The data it has collected since this requirement indicates 27 workers a day suffer the most severe injuries on the job (among the 29 states covered by federal OSHA).
Leading Industries for Severe Workplace Injuries
Here’s a breakdown, by industry, of the leaders in severe workplace injuries.
- General Medical and Surgical Hospitals
- Support Activities of Oil and Gas Operations
- U.S. Postal Service
- Supermarkets and Other Grocery Stores
- Electrical Contractors and Other Wiring Installation Contractors
- Highway, Street and Bridge Construction
- Roofing Contractors
- Plumbing, Heating and Air Conditioning Contractors
- Temporary Help Services
- General Warehouse and Storage
- Landscaping Services
- All Other Specialty Trade Contractors
- All Other Plastic Product Manufacturing
- Industrial Building Construction
Underreporting of Severe Workplace Injuries
OSHA believes the problem is far bigger than reported. It found strong evidence that its statistics are off because of the underreporting of workplace injuries. The agency believes many severe injuries—in fact, as many as 50-percent or more—go unreported.
In some cases, the report isn’t filed because the worker themselves have not filed an injury report at work. By doing so, they may be giving up their ability to be compensated for their lost wages and to receive the medical treatment they need to heal properly and fully.
What to do If You Are Injured at Work
If you’re injured at work, it is essential you report it. This might seem obvious, but there are many times a person is injured and doesn’t need immediate medical attention. So, they wait it out, only to find later they are in pain.
By reporting the incident immediately, you protect yourself against the employer who might claim you were injured at home or away from the job. It’s also best to report the accident in writing, and if you are a union member, you should most definitely report the accident to your union representative and your employer. If someone witnesses the accident, be sure to get their take on what happened in writing as well.
Consulting with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney will ensure your rights are protected and that you are maximizing the value of your claim. If you or someone you know was hurt on the job, Call Georgelis First at 1-800-HURT-NOW.
Give us a call today so we can help you through the process. Your employer’s insurance company has a human resources department, lawyers, investigators and nurse case manager’s working against you. You should have someone on your side making sure that you are protected and to level the playing field.
At Georgelis Injury Law Firm there is never a charge for a consultation and evaluation of your claim. In fact, there is absolutely no fee unless we get money for you!