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How often do workplace accidents occur?

Workplace accidents in Minnesota are all too common. In 2012 alone, 77,600 Minnesotans suffered injuries while on the job, and 70 people were killed in workplace accidents. While the state's statistics match national trends, workplace safety remains an important area for needed improvements.

There are state and federal regulations in place to establish workplace safety standards. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration provides federal regulations governing workplaces across the country. While enforcement has led to decreases in workplace injuries, illnesses and fatalities, it is still important that employers have good policies and procedures in place and that they ensure basic safety for their workers at all times. Employers that are found in violation of state and federal safety regulations receive penalties, fines and citations and are mandated to correct the found problems.

Industries in Minnesota that produced the highest rates of workplace injuries included construction, educational and health, and mining and natural resources, with the greatest number of cases coming from work in nursing homes, residential care facilities and metal manufacturing. The industries with the greatest number of workplace fatalities included agriculture, forestry, fishing and construction. In Minnesota, the Department of Labor and Industry has numerous programs in place to help employers and workers reduce the number of workplace injuries and fatal accidents.

When workers suffer injuries from on-the-job accidents, workers' compensation is normally available. When they are denied workers' compensation or the employer retaliates against them for trying to obtain benefits, they should consult with a worker's compensation attorney. These attorneys may be able to assist their clients with the recovery of medical benefits and lost wages.

Source: Minnesota department of labor & industry, "Minnesota workplace safety report, 2012", September 30, 2014

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