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Nursing home employees are at risk for work injuries

Workers in some New Jersey industries might be interested in figures released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The data indicate a slight decrease in the rate of employee injuries overall between 2014 and 2015. They show that jobs in hospitals, in nursing homes and in the construction industry had the highest rates of illness and injury among employees in 2015.

Specifically, there were 3 illnesses or injuries per 100 workers in the private sector in 2015, compared with 3.2 per 100 in 2014. One out of eight nursing home employees suffered a workplace injury in 2015, a rate of 12.1 per 100. In the hospital and construction industries, one in twelve workers was hurt on the job, a rate of 8.3 per 100.

Comparing local government work with the private sector reveals a higher likelihood of injury in the former. Indeed, local government employees were 70 percent more likely to get hurt on the job than their private-sector counterparts. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the disparity may be a result of the types of jobs for which local governments employ people. Police officers, firefighters and nurses are more likely to get hurt at work than those in other fields.

In total, 2.9 million private sector employees missed time from work during 2015 due to workplace injury or illness. The states with the highest rates of worker injury were Maine, Vermont, Washington and Montana. Louisiana, Texas and Virginia had the lowest rates, as did the District of Columbia.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics cautioned that some conditions, like black lung disease, may not be adequately represented in the data because they develop slowly and may remain latent for a long time. People who have questions about how to seek compensation for their workplace injuries may want to meet with an attorney in order to learn about the rights that they have.

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