New York employers have a duty to keep their workers safe. Generally, this means that workplaces should be safe and provide the proper safety equipment to avoid accidents and injuries. Furthermore, this means that employers need to train employees properly and have procedures in place on how employees should respond to a workplace accident or other safety concern. Depending on the industry, the exact safety requirements could change. Employers should follow guidelines and rules created by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

If safety rules are ignored serious workplace injuries can occur. However, even when employers try their best to keep the workplace safe, accidents still occur and workers get hurt. According to recent data, in 2012, 146,000 workplace injuries occurred to New York private sector employees. While this was a decrease in the number of injuries that occurred, it still means that two-and-a-half nonfatal injuries occurred for every 100 full-time workers in New York.

Government employees actually suffered from injuries at a higher rate than the private sector employees in 2012. For government employees, seven injuries occurred for every 100 full-time workers. In other words, 69,000 injuries were reported by governmental employees. The national average in 2012 was only 5.6 injuries for every 100 full-time government workers. According to the report, most of these government injuries – around 78 percent – happened to New York’s local government employees.

Injured workers should understand their legal right to compensation. Workers’ compensation insurance may be available to both private and government employees following a workplace injury. This compensation can help cover medical expenses, lost wages and other costs caused by the injury.

Source: Claims Journal, “New York Employers Reported 146K Nonfatal Workplace Injuries,” Jan. 31, 2013