Virginia Workplace Injuries Increased During 2010

The Virginia Department of Labor and Industry has reported that the rate of workplace injuries in Virginia rose in 2010 to 3.3 nonfatal injuries and illnesses for every 100 full-time public and private workers. The on-the job injury rte in the commonwealth for 2009 was 3.1.

More positively, workplace fatalities dropped 13 percent from the number recorded during 2009.

Across the entire United States an average of 3.5 out of every 100 workers suffer job-relatedinjuries, with government employees being far more likely than privately employed people to get hurt doing their job.

Most interesting to me as a Virginia personal injury attorney who represent many railroad employees, the private transportation industry had the highest workplace injury rate in the commonwealth, at 5.5 per 100 workers.

Reasons for the increase were not discussed in the report, and I cannot help but wonder how accurate these statistics are. Many workers are reluctant to report injuries because they fear getting fired. Others find dealing with red tape an insurmountable barrier.

Every job has its risks, but workers deserve necessary safety equipment and protections for whatever hazards they encounter. Maintaining a safe workplace can cost employers time and money, but savings realized from preventing injuries and deaths are far greater. Ultimately, most accidents and injuries are preventable. If employers take the initiative to protect their employers in the first place, perhaps the rate of on the job injuries will fall in 2011.

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