Every year, the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation within the Department of Labor & Industry releases a report summarizing Pennsylvania workplace injuries and fatalities, analyzing factors like causation, industry, and county.  Have you been a victim of the number one most common Pennsylvania work injury?  

Strains and Sprains Ranked #1 PA Workplace Injury Across All Occupations

Based on DOL data from 2014, the most recent year for which a report is available, torn ligaments (sprains) and torn muscles (strains) were the number one most common workplace injury across every single one of Pennsylvania’s major industries, including construction, education, health, agriculture, fishing, forestry, finance, hospitality, information, mining, transportation, trade, and the public sector.  The DOL counted a total of 69,418 sprain and strain cases in 2014, accounting for nearly 40% of all work-related injuries in 2014.

Since these types of injuries tend to be mild and easily inflicted, the prevalence of sprains and strains doesn’t come as much of a surprise.  More interesting is the divergence in what caused all of those strains and sprains.  When it came to agriculture, forestry, fishing, hunting, leisure, and hospitality, workers were most likely to suffer sprains or strains due to being struck by an object.  However, physical overexertion was the leading cause in every other industry.

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These injuries can occur virtually anywhere in the body – and did, according to the DOL report, which noted that sprains and strains were responsible not only for the majority of trunk injuries (chest, abdomen, back), but also injuries to the upper extremities (fingers, hands, wrists, arms, shoulders), the lower extremities (toes, feet, ankles, knees, hips, legs), and the neck.  Together, that covers just about every area of the body.

Less prevalent (but still statistically significant) types of workplace injuries reported by the DOL included:

  1. Contusions and Crush Injuries – 31,552 injuries (17.8%)
  2. Cuts, Lacerations, and Punctures – 27,623 injuries (15.6%)
  3. Bone Fractures – 7,357 injuries (4.1%)
  4. Occupational Disease – 3,536 cases (2%)
  5. Burn Injuries – 3,500 injuries (2%)
  6. Amputation – 486 injuries (0.3%)

Additionally, workplace accidents caused multiple injuries in about 3% of all reported cases (4,933 injuries).

More PA Workers Injured in Health and Education Than Any Other Industry

While injury types and causes remained consistent across occupations, the total number of injuries varied significantly, as did the counties in which they were most likely to occur.  For example, a construction worker in Philadelphia County is more likely to be injured on the job than a fellow construction worker in nearby Chester County – where people who work in agriculture, fishing, forestry, or hunting should be especially cautious.  

Some of the statistics are predictable – for instance, the high number of injuries in the manufacturing industry – while others come as a surprise.  For instance, would you have guessed that Pennsylvanians are more likely to be injured working in education or health than in any other industry?  Or that the public sector would give rise to more injuries than the construction industry?

The full list of Pennsylvania’s most dangerous industries is ranked below by injury count:  

  • Education and Health Industry
    • Total Injuries – 49,823
    • Greatest Concentration – Philadelphia County
  • Utilities, Trade, and Transportation Industry
    • Total Injuries – 42,496
    • Greatest Concentration – Allegheny County

  • Manufacturing Industry
    • Total Injuries – 24,051
    • Greatest Concentration – Berks County
  • Professional Services and Business Industry
    • Total Injuries – 12,388
    • Greatest Concentration – Allegheny County
  • Government and Public Sector
    • Total Injuries – 12,376
    • Greatest Concentration – Dauphin County
  • Leisure and Hospitality Industry
    • Total Injuries – 12,218
    • Greatest Concentration – Philadelphia County
  • Construction Industry
    • Total Injuries – 10,885
    • Greatest Concentration – Philadelphia County
  • Finance Industry
    • Total Injuries – 4,095
    • Greatest Concentration – Allegheny County
  • Information Industry
    • Total Injuries – 1,855
    • Greatest ConcentrationAllegheny County
  • Natural Resources and Mining Industry
    • Total Injuries – 1,603
    • Greatest Concentration – Washington County
  • Hunting, Fishing, Forestry, and Agriculture Industry
    • Total Injuries – 935
    • Greatest Concentration – Chester County

Despite huge industry-to-industry differences in the numbers of injuries overall, fatal injuries were similarly uncommon across all occupations.  No industry reported more than 27 deaths in Pennsylvania 2014, with the average number closer to two or three.  Surprisingly, despite being described by the CDC as one of “the most hazardous industries” in the country, the only industry with no fatalities was agriculture, forestry, fishing, and hunting.

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Philadelphia Personal Injury Lawyer Brent Wieand is Experienced and Ready to Fight for You

If you or your spouse was injured at work in Philadelphia or the surrounding counties, you should talk to an experienced personal injury attorney.  You could be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits.  Depending on what caused your accident to occur, it may be possible to sue for a workplace injury.  To learn more about your legal options in a free, friendly, and completely confidential legal consultation, call the Wieand Law Firm, LLC at (800) 481-5206 today.

***Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes.  It is not legal advice and should not be used as legal advice.***