Injuries in the workplace and subsequent injury claims are readily tracked by numerous governing bodies in Minnesota. Not only can these statistics show injury trends over the last few years, but they can also paint a picture of where workers are at greatest risk for an injury, which allows us to take some preventative measures. In an effort to raise awareness over occupational hazards and injuries, the Minnesota Safety Council released a Workplace Safety Dashboard that showcases the landscape of workers’ compensation in Minnesota. You can see the two-page PDF by clicking here, but we want to pour over some of the more interesting findings in our own blog.
The Recent Landscape of Workers’ Compensation in Minnesota
Because the workers’ compensation process can take a good deal of time, the Workplace Safety Dashboard only used the most recent data available to them which involved all work injuries in Minnesota between 2011-2014. Here are some of the takeaways:
- Encouragingly, the number of reported workplace injuries and illnesses has fallen 23 percent between 2004 and 2014. There were 124,900 workplace injuries or illnesses in 2004, and that fell to 96,300 in 2014.
- On average, 264 workers are injured or get ill at work every day. 59 of these people are hospitalized because of their injury, and one worker dies every six days in Minnesota.
- The total cost of Minnesota’s workers’ compensation system was an estimated $1.66 billion in 2014.
- 3 workers out of 100,000 were killed on the job in Minnesota in 2014. That is well below the national average of 3.3 per 100,000.
- Sprains, strains and tears were the most common workplace injuries in 2014.
- Although the number of claims dropped in 2014, the average cost per claim increased, due in large part to an increase in associated medical costs.
- Agriculture and farming continue to be the most dangerous industry. 30 percent of all fatal work injuries between 2011-2014 were among farmers and people in the agriculture industry. Moreover, seven farm workers are seriously injured every day in Minnesota.
- More than 1 in 3 fatal workplace accidents involve someone driving or operating a vehicle.
- Injuries involving amputation of a limb increased by more than 30 percent between 2013 and 2014.
Minnesota Health Commissioner Ed Ehlinger said publications like the 2016 Workplace Safety Dashboard help organizations understand where workers are vulnerable, which can help lead to changes to make the workplace safer for everyone.
“Our health is not only greatly influenced by where we live but also by where we work,” said Minnesota Health Commissioner Dr. Ed Ehlinger. “While the implementation of labor laws and occupational health standards have greatly improve the wellbeing of our workforce, continued efforts are necessary to monitor the health and safety of our workers and ensure that all workers have a safe and healthy workplace.”
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