Magazine article Workforce Management

It's Safe Behind the Desk

Magazine article Workforce Management

It's Safe Behind the Desk

Article excerpt

Although employers have reduced injury rates in most workplaces, employees in hospitals and nursing homes still face a high risk.

DATA BANK

THE SAFEST WORKPLACE position in the U.S. is behind a desk at an insurance company, where less than 1 percent of workers experienced an occupational injury or illness in 2006, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Although the low incidence of injuries for office work is no surprise, it is worth noting that working in a hospital is more dangerous than mining coal. Nursing homes report more onthe-job injuries than steel mills. Grocery workers are injured more frequently than lumberjacks.

The shift in the composition of the workforce and more effective safety programs pushed the private industry incidence rate down to a historic low of 4.4 percent in 2006, a substantial improvement over the 7.4 percent rate reported for 1996 and less than half the 9.2 percent rate reported 30 years ago. Even the most dangerous industries experienced notable reductions, with the incidence rate for hospitals dropping from 10 percent in 1996 to 8. …

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