When looking at the severity of workplace injuries, one important thing to consider is how long workers have to spend out of work after they get hurt. This gives an indication of how bad those injuries were, and it also speaks to the total financial cost in lost wages, medical bills and the like. In addition, it gives you a sense of the cost to the company itself in lost production or finding replacement workers.
So, which industries see injuries keep workers out the longest? Here are some of the median days out of work for a few notable professions:
- Mining injuries: 31 days away from work
- Local government warehousing and transportation: 21 days away from work
- Other warehousing and transportation: 20 days away from work
- Transportation, utilities and trade services for local government: 16 days away from work
- Public order, justice and safety activities for state government: 14 days away from work
While these statistics are telling, showing that many workers spend weeks -- or even a month -- sidelined after an injury, it's important to look at the other side of the spectrum as well. To that end, below are some of the professions and jobs with the fewest days away from work, again looking at the median days out:
- Education: Five days away from work
- Food and accommodation services: Six days away from work
- Hunting, fishing, forestry and agriculture: Six days away from work
- Health and education services: Six days away from work
- Social assistance and health care jobs: Six days away from work
Many of these findings could relate to the physicality of the job. Is it any surprise that mining injuries tend to be more severe, as employees work in high-risk areas with heavy machinery? Is it all that shocking that transportation workers suffer serious injuries, considering the sheer amount of car accidents there are every year in the United States?
On the other side, many of the jobs, while intellectually difficult and challenging in their own ways, do tend to focus more on workers who stay inside and work at a desk. Those in educational professions or social assistance programs simply do not face all of the same risks.
That said, even these workers spend nearly a week out of work, and that's the median amount of time. This shows that any worker, in any profession, can suffer a serious, acute injury on the job. That risk is always there, whether you're in the car, at a desk or underground. If you do get hurt, it is very important to know all of the legal options that you have to seek compensation for things like medical bills and lost wages.