When a Georgia worker suffers a workplace injury, his or her entire family may feel the negative effects. Lost time from work and the recovery required for a serious injury may take its toll on a worker’s household. Workplace injuries affect a sizeable number of the Peach State’s residents each year.
The federal government collects and compiles statistics relevant to work-related injuries. According to the most recently available information collected by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 78,200 reported incidents of nonfatal on-the-job injuries and workplace illnesses in Georgia during 2017. More than half of those incidents were severe enough to result in lost time from work.
High-injury supersectors and the top safety violation types
In Georgia, the 2017 high-injury private industry supersectors were the utilities, trade and transportation fields followed by the health and education service areas. More than 50% of the workplace injuries and illnesses reported for Georgia in 2017 occurred within these employment sectors.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration tracks workplace safety violations. Safety hazard violations that go unreported or undiscovered may lead to serious on-the-job injuries. OSHA violations and injury data shows that falls are the leading cause of fatal and nonfatal work accidents across the U.S. As reported by Georgia Tech, the greatest number of OSHA workplace violations cited in 2018 were for fall-related issues such as missing guardrails, uncovered floor openings and a lack of fall-arrest systems.
The runner-up to fall-related OSHA violations is poor communication of workplace hazards. When employers do not provide adequate warnings of the dangers of hazardous materials in the workplace, there is a greater chance of injuries and illnesses occurring. Employers also place workers at risk when they do not provide thorough training in using hazardous materials safely.
Worker’s comp can help cover the costs of a workplace injury or illness
Georgia’s worker’s comp insurance provides compensation for medical care and lost time from work when employees incur on-the-job injuries. As long as they are work-related, a wide range of injuries and illnesses may qualify for benefits.