While the rate of nonfatal occupational injury and illness cases requiring days away from work was statistically unchanged from the previous year, it does point to areas where practitioners may want to focus more effort.
Workers in five occupations had nearly 20 percent of the days away from work cases last year. They were laborers, nursing aides and orderlies and attendants, janitors and cleaners, heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers, and police officers and sheriff's patrol officers.
Laborers had an incidence rate of 353 cases per 10,000 full-time workers -- more than three times greater than the rate for all private industry workers. They required a median of nine days away from work.
The number of days away from work among private sector workers decreased 3 percent in 2011 while the median number of days away from work was eight for the fourth consecutive year.
Public sector workers had a higher incidence rate than those in the private sector -- 190 cases per 10,000 full-time workers compared to 105 in the private sector.
Private industry workers age 45 to 54 saw a decrease in case counts and incidence rates, as did workers age 16 to 19 and 65 or older. However, the proportion of injuries and illnesses was still highest among workers in the 45 to 54 age group.
Longevity played a part in the incidence rates. Workers with one to five years of service with a single employer saw an 11 percent decrease in nonfatal injuries and illnesses requiring days away from work. Employees with less than one year of service had an increase in the number of days away from work cases, especially in the agriculture, forestry, fishing, and hunting industry.
Musculoskeletal disorder cases accounted for one-third of all injury and illnesses cases in 2011. More than one-quarter of those cases were from six occupations -- nursing assistants, laborers, janitors and cleaners, heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers, registered nurses, and stock clerks.
Read more at the WorkersComp Forum homepage.
January 3, 2013
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