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More Employees Suffering Workplace Illnesses And Injuries


When the COVID pandemic came to the United States in March 2020, it forced a lot of companies to work from home and help prevent the spread of the deadly disease. Having workers at home also reduced the risk of workplace injuries.

Many companies started mandating return to work last year. As the number of employees going back to work onsite increased in 2022, so did the numbers of injuries and illnesses. Employers reported 2.8 million workplace injuries and illnesses last year. And that’s just those that were reported. Many workers fail to report injuries in fear of retaliation, so the real number could be 3 million or more.

Although workplace injuries remain below pre-pandemic levels, there has been a massive increase in work-related illness. Illnesses in the private health care and social assistance sectors increased by almost 55,000 from 2021-2022. The rate of work-related respiratory illnesses among grocery store workers nearly tripled during this same time period.

Overexertion caused more than 1 million cases of missed work. Each case required a median of 14 days away from work. Contact with objects and equipment also caused about 800,000 cases of missed work.

Many of the injuries occurred in warehousing environments. That’s because those jobs involve a lot of repetitive motions that can result in injuries to your back, shoulders, elbows, and wrists.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is taking notice. The agency is cracking down on warehousing companies. Amazon has especially been under scrutiny. In 2023 alone, the company has been cited for violations at least six times.

Plus, more reporting requirements are coming soon. In March, OSHA will require many companies to report more injury information. In the past, companies only had to submit a summary of how many injuries and illnesses they had. It will become much more complex, as they’ll have to submit detailed records, which could expose companies that have been underreporting.

Employers can prevent workplace accidents by:

  • Keeping the workplace clean. Cleaning up spills and clutter can reduce slips, trips, and falls.
  • Install adequate lighting. Poor vision can make accidents more likely to occur.
  • Provide the right gear. In hazardous conditions, make sure employees have the right personal protective equipment (PPE). This may include helmets, goggles, gloves, harnesses, and foot protection.
  • Ensure proper staffing. When an employee is overworked, they are unable to focus on their tasks, making mistakes likely.

Contact Us for More Information About Workers’ Compensation Benefits

With more and more people returning to work after the COVID pandemic, workplace injuries are on the rise. If you have been a victim, make sure you report the injury and get the benefits you are entitled to receive.

Count on a White Plains workers’ compensation lawyer from The Law Office of Michael Lawrence Varon to ensure your workers’ compensation case is handled appropriately. We’ll make sure you get what you need to recover and get back to work. To schedule a free initial consultation, fill out the online form or call (914) 228-1770.



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