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Workplace injury rates declining in Wisconsin

Overall occupational injury rates continued to decline in Wisconsin in 2015, according to data collected by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Both public and private sector rates declined, as did rates in the U.S. as a whole, following a downward trend over the past decade.

Wisconsin employers reported 78,800 workplace injuries and illnesses to the BLS in 2015, or about 36 injuries and illnesses for every 1,000 full-time workers.

Of course, some jobs and industries are much more dangerous than others. Wisconsin injury and illness rates were higher than average in the following industries in both 2015 and 2014:

  • Goods-producing
  • Natural resources and mining
  • Construction
  • Manufacturing
  • Educational and health services
  • State and local government
  • Trade, transportation and utilities

Here are some other findings from the data:

  • The Wisconsin industry with the highest injury rates in 2015 was manufacturing; in 2014 it was natural resources and mining.
  • Not surprisingly, the lowest injury rates were found in industries with primarily desk jobs, such as publishing, finance, insurance and business services.
  • Overall, small employers with 10 or fewer workers reported much lower rates than larger employers.

Despite the differences in rates across industries, workplace injuries and illnesses still occur in all sectors. Of course, some careers carry more risks than others, but there's a reason almost all employers are required to carry workers' compensation insurance. With few exceptions, Wisconsin employees are covered if they get hurt on the job, regardless of the industry.

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