OSHA reports on first year of injury reporting

The Occupational Safety and Hazard Administration (OSHA) has reported on its first year of the severe work injury reporting program.  injury

All Employers throughout the country are required now to report severe work place injuries.  Specifically, 

Now, under a requirement that took effect Jan. 1, 2015, employers must report to OSHA within 24 hours any work-related amputation, in-patient hospitalization, or loss of eye

Of the injuries reported last year, here is the breakdown provided in the OSHA report.

“Employers reported 10,388 severe injuries, including 7,636 hospitalizations and 2,644 amputations. For more statistics and the evaluation of the impact of the new requirements . . . the numbers amount to 30 work-related severe injuries each day, evidence that, despite decades of progress, many US work sites remain hazardous to workers” 

The three largest sectors of employers with the most reported hospitalizations are:  manufacturers (26%), construction (19%), and transportation/warehousing (11%).  Of amputations, manufacturers indicated 57% of reported amputation injuries.

Looking at where we live, Central Pennsylvania, most of the work injuries I have litigated have been in these three work place sectors, along with employees of nursing homes and health care agencies.  South Central Pennsylvania has seen an explosion in transportation/warehouse and manufacturing growth from Greencastle near the Maryland border up through the Harrisburg region, along the Interstate 81 corridor.  That makes these type of numbers even more important for our area to understand and comprehend.

The frustrating thing about reading this report is the indication that many of these severe injuries are easily preventable.  That is just frustrating.  Employers are constantly trying to implement new cost-saving procedures in their facilities.  That is understandable.  However, these type of cost savings should not be directed at work place safety.

In many instances in which I have represented injured workers, my clients’ injuries were indeed easily preventable.  I wish employers understood the profound impact a work injury typically has on the lives of the injured workers.  Employers fail to understand the devastating physical and emotional impact these injuries cause on a person.

Often, we just think about the pain and and physical condition from a work injury.  However, it goes beyond that.  Work injuries often devastate an injured worker financially.  Many injured workers can’t afford to be out of work getting paid 2/3 of their weekly pay.  Still, even more so, many injured workers have denied injuries, putting them out of work with no pay at all.   That may lead to foreclosures, bankruptcy, homelessness, domestic problems in their marriages, and more.  The toll these injuries take on an individual injured worker is often forgotten by their employer and insurance carrier.  Even more so, when the worker returns to work or returns in modified duty, the once amicable relationship with bosses, co-workers, and maybe even business owners, suddenly turns sour.  Snide comments are made about faking an injury.  Work place discipline begins to increase.  Harassment by co-workers takes place.  I see it all the time and it is completely frustrating to me.  Unfortunately, it is also becoming more a norm, than not.

It’s simple.  If you have been hurt on the job, you shouldn’t and you do not have to fight the work injury on your own.  Your benefits under the Workers’ Compensation Act are too important to you.  Do three things immediately when you are hurt on the job:  1) report the injury to your employer right away; 2) seek medical treatment immediately; and 3) call Mooney & Associates at 717-200-HURT or 1-877-632-4656 for a FREE consultation regarding your rights and our ability to protect them on your behalf.  Again, you do not have to go it alone!  Mooney & Associates has twelve offices scattered throughout Central Pennsylvania to conveniently meet with you.  We have offices in Chambersburg, Mercersburg, Shippensburg, Carlisle, Harrisburg, Duncannon, Halifax, Gettysburg, York, Hanover, New Oxford, and Stewartstown.  Soon we will be adding a meeting location in Lancaster.  We are making it as easy as possible to consult with us!


Mark Buterbaugh

Attorney representing injured workers and Social Security Disability clients in Pennsylvania and Maryland.