There are various statistics to consider in evaluating workplace injury issues in Minnesota and throughout the nation. The number of injuries of a certain type can be an indicator of success or failure in managing safety. Additionally, the cost burdens of certain types of injuries are important. Some statistics were released on Jan. 14, 2016, and musculoskeletal disorders topped the list of disabling job-related injuries during 2013.
In addition, information from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that 32 percent of workplace illnesses and injuries in 2014 were MSDs. Nearly one-fourth of the financial burden for disabling injuries during 2013 was attributed to overexertion. Falls represented approximately one-fourth of the burden as well, with 16.4 percent attributed to same-level incidents and 8.7 percent attributed to falls from one level to another. All work-related injuries causing disability totaled nearly $62 billion in direct costs in 2013.
The most common professions experiencing musculoskeletal injuries on the job in 2014 were laborers, nursing assistants, and workers involved in moving materials, freight, and stock. However, an MSD could occur in any profession. For example, a teacher decorating a classroom for the coming year might suffer a strain or a fall in the process. An office worker could slip while reaching for a file in an upper location. Whether an incident results from poor posture, a furnishing that is broken, or another unsafe condition in the environment, workers' compensation typically pays for medical care and other expenses resulting from the situation.
While an employee might blame their employer for the conditions that cause a workplace injury, workers' compensation has been designed to ensure that injuries are treated and that legal action is avoided. However, a lawyer might be helpful if a workers' compensation claim is not being addressed properly by an employer or its insurer.