Workplaces seem to be steadily unsafe in Connecticut. Within one year’s time, the number of workplace injuries in the state of Connecticut have risen by eight percent. It would seem that the Land of Steady Habits is nothing if not consistent. According to a recent report by UConn Health, this marks the seventh straight year that the rate of work-related illnesses and injuries remained above the national average.
In a report based on workers’ compensation records, doctors’ statements, and surveys conducted by the Connecticut Labor Department and Bureau of Labor Statistics, Connecticut’s rate of occupational illnesses was 18.7 illnesses for every 10,000 workers — seven percent higher than the national average. In fact, ever since the statistics for the national workforce illness average was made available, Connecticut’s rate has hovered above it.
Some of the highest rates of illnesses and injuries are found in the manufacturing and transportation/utilities sectors, which found 53 and 44 cases per 10,000 workers, respectively. Typically, these jobs are among some of the most dangerous, but they also may reflect better reporting practices. Even so, workers in these industries need to take extra precautions to ensure their safety while on the job.
Although the financial implications of these workplace illnesses and injuries were not included in the report, studies have shown that reducing accidents by even 10% can result in an annual savings of nearly $60,000. Since the rate of incidents in the Connecticut report includes preventable illnesses, there are definitive steps companies can take to ensure safety, including office improvements and the use of safer chemicals. Although not every accident or illness can be prevented, the use of proper safety equipment and following workplace safety guidelines can often eliminate the risk of job site accidents.