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Injury Rates Improve for Washington State Workers

Back Injury X-raySurvey results released by the Department of Labor & Industries show that job sites across Washington became safer in 2010, continuing a trend that started over a decade ago.  According to the Washington State Occupational Injury and Illness Survey, 5 out of every 100 full-time workers (including employees in both private and public sector industries) sustained a job-related injury or illness in 2010. This figure is down from the rate of 5.3 in 100 from 2009.

2010’s rate is the lowest recorded in Washington since 2003, when the injury rate stood at 6.9. 2003 was the year when L&I adopted the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS), which is also used by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

Within private industries themselves, Washington’s injury and illness rate is still above the average national rate. Injuries among Washington workers stood at 4.8 per 100 full-time employees in 2010, while the national rate was 3.5.

Nearly every major industry in Washington showed better numbers in 2010. Injury and illness rates among construction workers, for instance, fell from 8.2 per 100 in 2009 to 7.2 in 2010. Nursing and Residential Care Facilities experienced a decline of 11.4 injuries per 100 workers in 2009 to 9.4 injuries last year.

Another significant change in this latest survey was the occurrence of “serious injuries” – injuries severe enough to prevent a worker from performing their usual job duties. In 2010, half of workers who were injured or became ill were in need of time off or modified work duties during recovery. That rate represented a drop of a few percentage points from the 2009 rate.

If you have been injured at work or have developed a work-related illness and need help with your L&I Claim, contact a Washington Workers Compensation Lawyer for assistance with your case. Our attorneys also provide confidential legal advice and professional observers to accompany workers during the IME exam, or independent medical examination process.



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