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Government reveals New York's workplace injury numbers for 2012

After taking a year to evaluate the data, the U.S. Labor Department released information about the number of nonfatal workplace illnesses and injuries reported in New York State in 2012. Across private industries in our state, there were around 146,000 such injuries and illnesses reported. In other words, there were 2.5 nonfatal work-related illnesses or injuries for every 100 private-sector employees.

The data indicates a decrease in workplace injuries and illnesses among private companies, and in addition to New York, seven other states reported this kind of decrease. While lower numbers point to a positive trend in the private sector, the rate of injury and illness among public employees isn't so good.

About 69,000 cases of nonfatal work-related illness or injury were reported among employees of New York's local and state governments. Interestingly, 78 percent of those cases involved local government employees. Overall, for local and state workers, there were 7 cases out of every 100 full-time employees. That rate is higher than the national average of 5.6 out of 100.

Although certain industries have a reputation for being the most injury-laden, it is important for all employees to be aware of their right to a safe work environment.

Injuries or illnesses arising out of person's employment can be costly and difficult, but workers' compensation is available to help injured or sick employees get back on their feet.

Sometimes injured workers are eligible for benefits beyond workers' compensation. For example, Social Security disability insurance may be available if a person is expected to be out of work for a year or longer. In other cases, a personal injury lawsuit may be best way for an injured employee to cover the full range of costs after a job-related accident.

Source: Claims Journal, "New York employers reported 126K nonfatal workplace injuries," Jan. 31, 2014

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