During 2015 and 2016, more than 1,595 severe workplace injuries were reported to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) by Pennsylvania employers. OSHA defines any type of injury that results in either the loss of an eye, an amputation or hospitalization as a severe injury.Among the severe injuries reported by Pennsylvania employers between 2015 and 2016, an alarming 28 percent involved employees losing either their fingernails or amputation of their fingers. Hands accounted for another 5 percent of all injuries. Toes accounted for 1 percent all of reported cases.Aside from Pennsylvania, there are 21 other states that run their own OSHA programs. In each of these states, they collect injury data for employees who work not just in federal positions, but private and public ones.
Pennsylvania’s dubious distinction as third worst state for employee injuries
Among the 22 states that keep records on employee injuries, Pennsylvania has the third highest rate. This is quite concerning, especially given the fact that Pennsylvania ranks as the sixth most heavily populated state of those in this group. Texas and Florida, which both have much larger populations, rank ahead of Pennsylvania. Illinois and New York, despite having larger populations, rank far behind it.As for the data that seems to show that Pennsylvania has an uncanny amount of workplace injuries compared to other states, statisticians affiliated with OSHA emphasize that the data only tells one half of the story. They note that numerous injuries go unreported each year despite laws having been on the books requiring them to report all instances for decades.Not all injuries reported
A 2012 study showed that employers in the construction industry were most proactive in reporting fatal injuries, yet were less apt to report non-fatal ones. Researchers also noted that employers in certain states such as Tennessee, Mississippi, West Virginia and Kentucky seemed to be less apt to report injuries than West Coast or New England states.Severe workplace injuries run the gambit from amputations to chronic to long-term respiratory infections or cancer. They can also include traumatic brain or spinal cord injuries or death. If you’ve been either temporarily or permanently disabled on the job, you should consult with a Dauphin, Pennsylvania, workers’ compensation attorney to gain a better understanding of your rights in your case.
Source: Trib Live, “Pennsylvania has third most worker injury reports,” Brian Bowling, July 01, 2017