In the past 3 years, we've seen a 42% increase in the number of workplace illnesses. In fact, 2010 data shows that 21% of all U.S. workers are hit by workplace illnesses.
What about workplace injuries? There were more than 3.6 million last year alone. And, 50% of occupational injuries and illnesses result in days away from work or job transfers.
I spent most of the last month pouring over the 2010 Bureau of Labor Statistics data. Contrary to what many assume, when you actually dig into the BLS data, the areas that you may think are extremely dangerous (think: mining, manufacturing) actually stack up with fewer injuries/illnesses than sectors like healthcare. For example, the segment with the highest injury rate is nursing homes. Hospitals aren't far behind at number 2.
These statistics add up quickly. And, they represent staggering losses to productivity and employee well-being. When compared to national averages:
- Industrial workers are almost 15% more likely to be injured or get sick at work
- Utilities, Oil & Gas employees have a 69% higher rate of respiratory disorders (silicosis, occupational asthma, RADS...) and 161.8% higher rate of hearing loss
- Construction workers have a 216% higher rate of skin disease (rashes, eczema, contact dermatitis...)
- Transportation industry employees have a 60% higher rate of hearing loss
- Healthcare workers are 1.6X more likely to be injured at work and account for 13.7% of all workplace illnesses and 15% of all occupational injuries
Those numbers barely scrape the surface. You can see the data, including a drill-down into specific industries, in our Workplace Health & Safety Infographic.
Click the image to the right to view full size.