According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), work accidents and injuries are relatively common. In 2020, which is the most recent year for which information is available, the BLS that there were 2.7 million non-fatal injuries that occurred in private places of employment. There were 1,176,340 nonfatal injuries and illnesses that caused a private industry worker to miss at least one day of work in 2020, 32.4 percent higher than in 2019. In South Carolina, the BLS reported 29,100 nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses in South Carolina in 2020, resulting in an incidence rate of 2.1 cases per 100 full-time equivalent workers. In South Carolina’s public sector, 9,500 injury and illness cases were reported in 2020, resulting in a rate of 3.6 cases per 100 full-time workers.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration reports that the following types of work-related injuries were reported the most frequently in 2018:
- Struck by accidents
- Caught in or between objects or machinery
- Eye and face injuries
- Forklift injuries
- Toxic exposures
- Musculoskeletal injuries
Many workers also develop chronic illnesses from their jobs. These types of injuries can include mesothelioma, other types of cancer, hearing loss, blindness, and others. Workers who have the highest risk of workplace injuries work in the construction, manufacturing, health care, and public safety industries. Even workers who work at jobs that are perceived as being relatively safe can suffer injuries and illnesses because of their jobs. For example, a common type of workplace injury that is suffered by many office workers is carpal tunnel syndrome.
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