When considering a profession, you probably do not give much thought to safety. If you are like most people in New Jersey, you look for what pays well and what is available. However, being safety minded is a good thing, and knowing that you are entering a highly dangerous industry or an industry where injuries are prevalent prepares you for the work and enables you to understand the risks and know more about your rights should you get hurt.
According to the most recent data released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were approximately 2.9 million nonfatal injuries and illnesses in 2016 reported by private sector employers. Of those, 892,270 cases of injuries or illness required days away from work.
The five industries with the highest rate of incidents per 100 full-time workers were:
- Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting, at a rate of 6.1 injured workers per 100
- Transportation and warehousing, at a rate of 4.6
- Arts, entertainment and recreation, at a rate of 4.4
- Health care and social assistance, at a rate of 4.2
- Manufacturing, at a rate of 3.6
The overall number of incidents declined from 2015, while the number of incidents requiring days away from work remained steady.
Sadly, the number of fatal work injuries in 2016 was 5,190, a 7 percent increase from 2015. Of those, transportation incidents accounted for 40 percent of fatalities. This presents a stark reminder for people who have to drive as part of their work.
For workers in any sector of the economy in New Jersey, workers’ compensation benefits are available to help you weather the storm of medical bills and lost wages when a work-related injury or illness strikes. If you are going to work in one of these industries, you should familiarize yourself with your rights. Then, if the worst happens, an attorney can help you explore your options.