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Seriousness of injured worker injuries is measured by study

For what it may be worth, a recent study reviewed data from the 2011 United States Department of Labor Statistics. This study reviews the data for North Carolina and all other states, and identifies the most dangerous industries by location. The determination is based on the rates of injuries that are serious enough to require an actual job switch or major change or restriction of responsibilities. The study thus pinpoints where a worker might have the better chance of becoming an injured worker with a more serious work injury.

Fortunately, North Carolina was not a “winner” and was not in the top 10 for most dangerous workplaces! The winner is a northern state that has 1.4 work injuries or illnesses serious enough for workers to require job transfers or job restrictions per 100 workers. That's twice the national average of 0.7. 

The most dangerous state with the highest injury/illness rate is Maine. Indiana and California are next in line, with a rating of 1.1 and 1.0 respectively. North Carolina's rating was at the national average mark. New York came in as the least dangerous with a mere 0.1 rating. Nonetheless, it's frankly difficult to make conclusions from the study.

The rates are anomalous from state-to-state, showing inconsistent results and no clear patterns. Some states with similar industries to Maine don't measure up to the Pine Tree State in the seriousness of the injuries. Certain professions appear to be more dangerous in some states than in others.

One reason for the disparity is taxonomy, which refers to differences in the way the states classify and report workplace-related injuries. Another reason for the disparity is environment. That refers to the actual dangerous factors surrounding doing work in one state as opposed to another where environmental factors are harsher.

The study points out that workplace injury is the sixth leading cause of disability claims. Indeed, more statistical information developed about workplace injuries may be helpful. In any event, North Carolina falls in the average range for an injured worker having a serious work injury requiring a job change or curtailment of activities. In those instances where an injured worker incurs medical expenses or misses time from work, our state regulated workers’ compensation insurance program is designed to provide important financial benefits.

Source: time.com, "The Most Dangerous States To Work In America -- And The Most Dangerous Jobs To Have In Them," Gary Belsky, July 23, 2013

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