Occupational Illness & Injury in Pennsylvania
In Pennsylvania, about 122,000 workers suffered occupational illnesses or injuries in 2019. Each year, more than 100,000 Pennsylvania employees experience an occupational injury on the job or in accidents related to their work. Unfortunately, 71 workers were killed on the job in Pennsylvania.
All of these workers are covered by the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act. Under this workers’ comp law, all work injuries and illnesses resulting in death, permanent impairment, or loss of time beyond a day or shift are covered. This means that any employee who suffers a work-related illness or injury may be eligible to receive compensation for his losses, including money to pay for lost wages, medical expenses, physical therapy, or disability. In addition, family members of workers who suffer a fatal injury and die may receive compensation to help them get back on their feet after the death of their loved ones.
If you or a loved one suffered a workplace injury, call Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys workers’ compensation lawyers. We can tell you about your rights and options. Call us or email us to schedule a free initial consultation.
Industries with the most workplace injuries and illnesses
According to the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation of the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry, transportation workers suffered the most illnesses and injuries, with 9,550 employees being hurt on the job. Workers in other industries also got sick or injured on the job in 2019:
- 5,640 in healthcare,
- 4,040 in maintenance and repair,
- 3,500 construction workers,
- 2,150 in food service, and
- 220 in farming,
While fewer farm workers were injured, they missed the most days of work, with a median of 168 days missed in 2019. The median number of days an injured worker was unable to return to work after a workplace injury or illness, across all industries in Pennsylvania, was 10 days. Specifically, the median number of missed days for workers in 2019 varied by industry:
- 49 days for workers in arts, sports, and media,
- 34 days for workers in architecture and engineering,
- 20 days for construction workers,
- 16 days for business and finance employees,
- 14 days for transportation workers,
- 12 days for administrative support, sales, and building and maintenance workers, and
- less than 10 days for workers in education, protective services, and healthcare practitioners.
Fortunately, employees in all these industries are covered under workers’ comp for workplace injury and illness in Pennsylvania. This includes workers in Pennsylvania’s largest industries: healthcare and manufacturing.
Injured workers have a right to file a workers’ compensation claim if they have been injured while carrying out their work-related tasks either on-site or off-site. As a result of a successful claim, a worker is entitled to receive money to compensate him for lost wages, medical expenses, and more. How much money a worker receives and the length of time the benefits last depends on the severity of the injury and the possibility of disability.
Compensation for workplace illness and injury under Pennsylvania workers’ comp law
Workers’ comp provides benefits to injured workers and their family members to cover medical expenses and costs, rehabilitation, lost wages, lost future wages, and family support for a worker who died. The amount of money you can receive for your injuries depends upon the severity of your injuries, whether you are totally or partially disabled, and the amount of time you are unable to work. According to the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry, workers in Pennsylvania received over $2.8 million in 2019 from the workers’ compensation system.
The greatest average financial loss due to injury or illness in 2019 was suffered by farm workers: $61,326.72.
On average, workers in all industries suffered different average amounts of losses in 2019:
- Architecture and engineering: $29,670
- Art, sports, and media: $26,307
- Business and finance: $12,768
- Construction: $11,477
- Education and library: $5,877
- Healthcare practitioners: $5,250
- Transportation: $5,245
If you suffered a workplace injury or illness and need a highly experienced workers’ compensation attorney, contact Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys today. Call 844-303-7321 to speak to a skilled workers’ compensation lawyer for free. We can assess your situation and tell you about your legal options.
What kinds of illness and injury are covered?
Nearly 37% of the injuries suffered by workers in 2019 were either a sprain or strain. The most common places where employees were injured in work-related incidents were to the upper extremities, with 36% of injuries affecting the shoulders, arms, forearms, wrists, hands, and fingers. The next most likely place to get hurt was the lower extremities: 26% of injuries were to the legs, ankles, feet, and toes of workers. Nineteen percent of injuries were to the worker’s trunk or mid-body, and 12% of injuries were to the head and neck. Seven percent of workers injured suffered multiple injuries to more than one body part.
Over a quarter of injuries were caused by overexertion as a result of lifting, pulling, pushing, or carrying. Even though these are the most common injuries, they are not the only injuries covered by workers’ comp. All kinds of injuries are covered by workers’ compensation, including:
- Bone fractures
- Burns, caused by heat or chemicals
- Contusions, lacerations, and crushing
- Loss of use of a body part
- Illnesses contracted on the job or caused by work
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Being struck
In addition, injuries and diseases made worse by your job are covered under workers’ compensation.
Workers of all ages are susceptible to occupational illness or injury
Across all industries, workers of all ages are injured on the job. Employees between the ages of 45 and 64 suffer about 45% of workplace injuries or illnesses. Specifically, 23% of work-related accidents hurt workers ages 55-64, and 23% affect workers ages 45-54. While nearly half of all injured workers are between the ages of 45 and 64, younger and older employees are also hurt on the job or in a work-related accident off-site.
- 3% of accidents hurt workers ages 16-19 years old;
- 18% of accidents injure employees between the ages of 24 and 34;
- 18% of incidents hurt workers ages 35-44; and
- 7% of injured workers are over the age of 65.
What to Do After a Workplace Accident
If you suffer an injury at work, even a minor injury, you need to seek medical attention immediately. Sometimes what seems like a slight injury can develop over time into a much larger medical issue. After seeking medical attention, submit an incident report at work and report the accident to your supervisor. It is important to formally document the incident as soon as possible. In Pennsylvania, you must submit your incident report within 120 days of the accident, but recommend filing the report as soon as possible, within 3 days if you can.
Once you’ve filed the incident report, insurance adjusters are likely to reach out to you to find out more about the incident. You need to speak with a skilled workers’ comp attorney serving before talking to the insurance company because an experienced workers’ comp attorney can negotiate with the insurance adjuster on your behalf and protect your interests.
If you need a highly experienced workers’ compensation attorney, contact Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys today. When you work with Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys, you don’t just get a lawyer, you get a firm. Our attorneys work together as a team to provide you with the insight and experience of all our attorneys. We are highly skilled and have a reputation for working hard to protect your rights and ensure you receive the compensation you deserve in your worker’s comp case. Our mission is to help injured victims. And you don’t pay us until we get money for you for your occupational injury or illness. Call us today at 844-303-7321 or email us to speak with a skilled workers’ comp lawyer for a FREE case evaluation.
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Posted in Workers' Compensation.