Whether working outside, in an office or a health care setting, virtually every worker in New Jersey is at risk for a workplace injury, illness or fatality. The statistics on workplace accidents are not encouraging, either. In 2018 alone, nearly three million people were injured at work.
While it is good that the rate of workplace injuries has decreased from 1972 — the first year such injuries were recorded — there are still millions of people who suffer every year. The news is not quite so good when it comes to workplace fatalities. Worker deaths increased 2% from 2017 to 2018, and approximately 5,250 workers died that year. Transportation accidents were the most common cause of fatal injuries.
Of those 5,250 deaths, 1,008 took place in the construction industry. But despite having the majority of deaths, it is still not the most dangerous industry. Agriculture, forestry and fishing all have higher fatality rates, with about 23 deaths for 100,000 workers. Government workers are also most at risk for nonfatal injuries and illnesses, affecting 233,000 every year.
No matter how safe it may seem, every industry has its own share of dangers. Most New Jersey employers do their best to provide safe working environments for employees, but workplace accidents can happen even in the best of circumstances. A victim who has suffered a workplace injury may feel frustrated about his or her situation and unsure of what to do next. For most people, filing for benefits through the workers’ compensation is a good place to start.