Although fatal occupational injuries may garner a high level of attention from Maryland residents, nonfatal issues can be a significant concern for both employers and employees as well. In 2014, state statistics indicated that more than 68,000 cases were recorded for all injuries and illnesses connected with Maryland workplaces. More than 75 percent of these cases occurred in private industries.
One of the private industrial sectors with high numbers of occupational illnesses or injuries was trade, transportation, and utilities with nearly 14,000 occurrences. Health services and social assistance accounted for approximately 12,500 cases. Hospitals represented nearly half of the reports associated with the health services sector, and nursing facilities represented nearly one-third of this sector’s incidents. These same sectors within government entities represented a significantly smaller portion of the overall instances of nonfatal occupational illnesses and injuries than in private settings. More than one-third of government cases occurred in the educational setting, and more than one-third occurred in public administration.
In many cases, the higher levels of work-related illness and injury make sense because of the settings. For example, transportation is an area that is more prone to accidents as workers are faced with various driving situations and conditions. Similarly, those who work in health care positions may be exposed to serious illnesses on a frequent basis. However, a small percentage of workplace illnesses and injuries does not eradicate an employer’s responsibility for the safety of employees. Attention to safety standards is important for minimizing risks for all.
Industrial workers’ accidents can be devastating even if they are not deadly. In severe cases, an individual could become permanently disabled. Although workers’ compensation benefits should be available, an attorney can often be of assistance in ensuring that the claim contains all appropriate documentation and that it is filed on a timely basis.
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