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Workplace injuries drain NY economy to the tune of billions

Sadly, workplace injuries are a reality that many New Yorkers will have to face. Especially in workplace environments where hazards are ubiquitous, like construction sites and industrial areas, there is always a chance that employees will one day suffer work-related injuries. When such an incident occurs, employees are often unable to resume their usual duties and thus lose out on wages. In addition to lost wages, they may also be burdened with medical expenses. Thankfully, though, New York employees have rights.

According to a recently released report, workplace injuries in this state drained $10.9 billion from the state's economy between 2010 and 2012. This report cites other statistics related to workplace injuries that New York readers may find somewhat shocking. For example,.OSHA, the federal department tasked with protecting workers' rights, had a budget of $583 million for the 2012 fiscal year. However, in that same year, only 115 inspectors were tasked with inspecting the 592,148 workplaces in the state of New York. Specifically, 5,511 New York workplaces were inspected by the 115 inspectors. This number accounts for a meager 0.93 percent of the workplaces in New York.

At the rate in which these inspections were conducted, it would require OSHA 110 years to finish inspecting each workplace in New York one time. According to one article, only a small fraction of private employers are required to implement programs known as "workplace safety and loss." The man who authored the report claimed that such safety programs should be mandatory as both the high number of often preventable workplace accidents and the resulting health and economic costs are indefensible.

As this report makes apparent, many New Yorkers have suffered workplace injuries in the past, and many will suffer them in the future. Those who have suffered workplace injuries may be eligible for workers' compensation. When pursuing such a claim, it is often helpful to have experienced help so thata worker can obtain the maximum benefit possible.

Source: EHS Today, "Workplace injuries in New York cost the economy $10.9 billion in three years," Sandy Smith, May 6, 2014

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