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Which industry has the most workplace injuries and illnesses?

According to reports, individuals in the health care industry suffer more injuries and illnesses than workers in any other industry Estimates indicate that approximately 654,000 health care workers suffered injuries and illnesses in 2010. Claims made by Public Citizen in a new report suggest this figure can be blamed on lax federal safety standards and inspections. The report notes the Occupational Safety and Health Administration conducts 20 times more inspections of construction sites than of health care workplaces. This is likely due to the fact that construction injuries are more often fatal.

Even so, health care workers are exposed to back injuries from lifting patients, needle sticks from working with individuals who are resistant to injections, violence from patients and coworkers and latex allergies, to name a few hazards listed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Ergonomic injuries - those involving the lifting or pushing of patients and equipment, as well as exertion on the hands - account for a considerable portion of the workplace injuries health care employees experience in Philadelphia and elsewhere. Even so, there are no specific safety standards in place for them. Still, these workers expose themselves to these dangers while treating the loved ones of others. Still, OSHA focuses on other industries. OSHA has just $535 million to keep track of 7 million workplaces in fiscal year 2013, which ends in September.

The health care sector saw the most injuries and illnesses in 2010. Manufacturing had the next highest number, but was approximately 152,000 behind in the figures. By sheer quantity alone, the health care industry is clamoring for better regulations. Currently, it is one of the most likely sectors for a worker to suffer an injury or contract an illness.

If you have suffered an injury on the job and believe that your employer could have prevented it by following better safety procedures, you may have a potential claim. Be sure to speak to an experienced Pennsylvania employment law attorney about your case.


Source: 
USA Today, "In health care industry, who will keep workers safe?" Fatimah Waseem, Aug. 03, 2013

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Gregory R. Gifford
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