The pattern is one for North Carolina employers and employees alike to celebrate. It's the downward trend of workplace injuries and illnesses, continuing now in 12 out of the last 13 years, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics says.
In private industry, businesses reported approximately 2.9 million nonfatal injuries and illnesses in American workplaces last year. That is a decline of about 48,000 injuries and illnesses from 2014, the bureau says.
That decline in injuries and illnesses is despite an increase in the number of hours worked by U.S. employees, the Bureau of Labor Statistics says. The rate of injury/illness cases was down from 3.2 per 100 full-time workers in 2014 to 3.0 in 2015.
Last year's rate is the lowest since 2002. Six of the 19 designated industry sectors showed a decline in injuries and illnesses last year: manufacturing; food services; health care and social assistance; transportation and warehousing; finance and insurance; as well as mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction.
The Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health said last year's decline is significant and comes as the "relentless efforts of employers, unions, worker advocates, occupational safety and health professionals, and federal and state government agencies."
Of course, the focus should include even more effective measures to reduce injuries on the job, and to make sure that those who are injured receive the workers' compensation benefits they have earned.
Here in Charlotte, you can appeal a denial of workers' comp with the help of a skilled lawyer from Ayers, Whitlow & Dressler.