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Work-related injuries in the United States: The statistics

Nonfatal work-related injuries and illnesses impact thousands of Americans every year. In 2012, 155 million workers were part of the U.S. civilian labor force. Each of these people could be at risk of work-related injuries or illnesses, depending on their jobs and activities.

If you've been hurt at work, you are already part of this statistic, but you shouldn't be treated like one. You deserve to be compensated for your injuries and illnesses, because your job is what caused them. Whether you simply need a day of medical care and rest or you're left with a disability, that's what workers' compensation is there for.

In 2011, it was recorded that around 3 million workers in the private industry suffered from nonfatal occupational illnesses or injuries, while another 821,000 working for state or local governments suffered the same kinds of illnesses and injuries.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have shown that around 16 percent of all private-sector workers are in high-risk occupations, which means that these workers are more likely to suffer an injury or illness due to the type of jobs they work. Additionally, around three out of every four people working in these dangerous conditions were male.

These illnesses and injuries are preventable on the whole. For instance, getting cut on machinery at work can likely be prevented with safety guards, and crashing a work vehicle can generally be avoided by paying attention or driving safely. Environments that take steps to prevent injuries save themselves and the economy money, since workers are able to work without missed days due to work-related injuries or illnesses.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, "Nonfatal Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses -- United States, 2010," Sherry L. Baron, MD Andrea L. Steege, PhD, accessed Jan. 21, 2016

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