BATON ROUGE - The rate of Louisiana workplace injuries resulting in time away from work in 2013 was lower than the national average, according to new data from the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics.
For every 10,000 full-time workers in Louisiana, there were 82.3 cases of nonfatal workplace injury or illness resulting in missed work, the BLS data show. The national average in 2013 was 99.9 cases.
Nonfatal injuries and illnesses involving vehicle accidents were the most common kinds of cases resulting in time away from work in Louisiana due mostly to sprains, strains and tears. Over-exertion and bodily reaction were the most frequent factors, with upper extremities the most common area of the body affected.
“The new data is a testament to the emphasis employers have placed on workplace safety in Louisiana,” said Wes Hataway, director of the Office of Workers’ Compensation Administration. “As a result, Louisiana had fewer and less disruptive nonfatal injuries and illnesses resulting in days away from work.”
Recent BLS data show Louisiana had the second-fewest nonfatal injuries and illnesses overall among 41 states and the District of Columbia who participated in a 2013 BLS survey. For every 100 full-time equivalent private-sector workers, the incidence rate of nonfatal workplace injury and illness was 2.2, down from 2.3 in 2012. There were an estimated 30,000 nonfatal work-related injuries and illnesses at private employers in Louisiana in 2013, down from 30,600 in 2012.
The LWC Office of Workers’ Compensation Administration has made a priority of helping employers improve safety through the Workplace Safety Task Force. LWC staff work with employers in injury-prone industries. The LWC also created the LAWorks Safe Award, which recognizes employers that meet high standards for protecting employees and preventing injuries, illnesses and fatalities.
“We know employers are taking the right steps to improve safety, and we’re doing what we can to support those efforts,” Hataway said.
Employers can call the LWC toll free at 1-800-201-2497 to request a free consultation or workplace safety visit.
LWC staff also can assist with developing effective safety practices.
The LWC collects workplace safety data in partnership with BLS and has created a website where current and archived Louisiana-specific information can be downloaded. Additional state and national data is available on the BLS website in the section on injuries, illnesses and fatalities.
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