Workplace accidents are fairly commonplace in Wisconsin, and along with the physical pain from injuries, there is often a financial cost for workers and employers. Fortunately, there are several steps individuals may take to reduce the risk of sustaining an injury at work. Employers may reduce the number of workplace injuries by complying with safety regulations and encouraging employees to perform physical actions, such as lifting, in a controlled manner.
The Wisconsin State Laboratory of Hygiene provides information from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics about occupational injuries and illnesses in the state. According to BLS data, there were 82,400 work-related illnesses and injuries in 2017 in Wisconsin. Some of the most common causes of injuries included overexertion, falls and contact with an object. Injuries sustained from these incidents included sprains, sore muscles, open wounds, fractures and bruises. About two-thirds of the injured employees were male. Statistics show that injuries were most frequent in certain industries: transportation, production, service and maintenance. Overall, workplace injuries in Wisconsin in 2017 accounted for every employee missing an average of six days of work.
There are a few things employers and workers may do to reduce the number of occupational illnesses and injuries. The National Safety Council provides helpful data and resources to help reduce the rate of preventable injuries in the workplace. For example, training employees on proper lifting techniques and providing safety equipment may reduce the number of injuries related to overexertion. Installing guardrails and maintaining clean floors may prevent many workplace falls from happening. Personal protective equipment, such as hardhats and safety goggles, may keep employees safe from falling objects and hazardous substances. Reducing occupational injuries and illnesses requires both employers and employees to make safe and responsible choices.