Accidents in the workplace happen every single day. They can range from minor injuries, such as a paper cut or a bumped knee to serious, such as paralysis or head injuries. Regardless of the severity, it is a goal to work toward zero accidents and to save lives.
The National Safety Council gathered data on all workplace accidents in 2020 to determine some trends and to expose the industries with the highest levels of issues. Because of the public health emergency, the numbers for 2020 were lower than normal, but they still reflected the typical issues seen year after year, which is a sign that regardless of outside influence, accidents will continue to occur.
The NSC figures the amount of money spent on workplace accidents. The overall cost of all work injuries and deaths in the U.S. during 2020 was $163.9 billion. Keep in mind this is much lower than a typical year when people are not working remotely or out of work due to a public health emergency.
The biggest factor in the NSC’s data is that the deaths and injuries are preventable. These are not things that happen because there was no way to stop them. The number of preventable deaths occurring in work environments in 2020 was 4,113. Again, it is important to note that many employers did not have people working on-site during this period. They were working at home or were on unemployment. Over 4,000 people dying at work is alarming when you think how few people were actually in the workplace.
Injury numbers that required medical treatment numbered 4 million. With the considerations, that is incredibly too high.
Workplace accidents seem to happen no matter how much work slows down or becomes more focused as 2020 demonstrated.