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How many people suffer a workplace accident every year?

Do you know how many people are injured at work every year in the U.S.? The number might surprise you. Nearly 3 million nonfatal workplace illnesses and injuries are reported annually by workers in New Jersey and the rest of the nation. Many of these injured employees need workers' compensation to help them recover from their ailments. The good news is that worker injury nationwide is actually declining, continuing a downward trend that started more than a decade ago.

Which industries are most prone to worker injury? Statistics show that employees at manufacturing and heavy industrial plants continue to experience high rates of workplace injury. Further, transportation accidents play a major role -- many victims are injured in car accidents associated with work, even if they are not professional truck drivers. Car accidents can occur on a work site or as an employee is in transit between work areas. About 75 percent of workplace injuries occur in service-providing industries, such as serving food, working as a cashier or stocking shelves. Only about one-quarter of injuries occur in goods-producing industries.

What about workplace illnesses? New Jersey workers may also be eligible to receive workers' compensation if they are sickened by environmental factors at their jobs. Illnesses occur at a far lower rate than workplace injuries, but they can still have a significant effect upon their victims. Skin diseases are some of the most common ailments that affect workers who suffer from workplace illnesses.

What can I do if I have been injured on the job? No matter whether you have been injured or sickened at work, you deserve financial compensation for your medical expenses. Those who have to endure long-term medical care because of a work incident such as a car accident should not have to shoulder the financial burden alone. Your company's workers' compensation program should be held responsible for your financial needs -- even if your employer protests.

Source: U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics, "Employer-reported Workplace Injuries and Illnesses - 2014," Oct. 29, 2015

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