It's that time of year for reflection. We look back at what the year brought us here in Cherry Hill, across the nation and around the world, and try to assess how we all fared over the past 12 months. A recent newspaper editorial on workplace injuries in 2017 says it is time for the U.S. "to make a collective resolution to reverse numbers clearly heading in the wrong direction."
Earlier this month, the Bureau of Labor Statistics issued a report stating that on-the-job fatalities climbed to 5,190 last year. That jaw-dropping figure is 7 percent than the number of workplace fatalities from the year before. This is the third year in a row in which the total of deadly workplace incidents has risen -- a disquieting trend, to say the least.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics said it was the first time since 2008 that on-the-job fatalities topped 5,000. Back then, the Great Recession was hitting the labor force hard. Fewer people were hurt working because fewer of us were employed.
With unemployment below 5 percent today, more Americans are working -- and more people are getting hurt in the workplace.
The National Safety Council also recently shared some disturbing workplace safety statistics. On-the-job overdose deaths from nonmedical use of drugs or alcohol topped 200 last year (up 32 percent), while workplace homicides increased by nearly 20 percent (about 500 deaths last year).
Also, older workers (55 and up) saw an increase of nearly 10 percent in workplace fatalities.
“Employers cannot ignore this data," the National Safety Council stated. “All employers need to take a systematic approach to ensure the safety of all of their workers."
That sounds good to us.
If you have been injured on the job and been denied New Jersey workers' compensation benefits, you can speak to an attorney experienced in successfully navigating the workers' comp appeals process and paperwork.