Mark Twain famously warned against “lies, damned lies, and statistics.” And it is certainly true that numbers don’t capture all of reality and can be misleading.
But is also true that numbers, when properly interpreted, can reveal a lot about something. This is certainly true with workers’ compensation in Minnesota, where two state agencies and a leading nonprofit group have released a dashboard filled with data.
In this post, we will use a Q & A format to inform you about three of the key findings.
The dashboard was developed by the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry, the Minnesota Department of Health and the Minnesota Safety Council. The numbers below are taken from there and are current as of this month.
How common are work injuries and illnesses in Minnesota?
On average, 264 Minnesota workers get hurt or become ill at work every day Of these 264, an average of 59 need to be hospitalized and 105 required time off, transfer to a different job or other job restrictions. .(This is according to data from 2014, which is the most recent year available).
A significant number of the injuries and illnesses are fatal. It averages out to a worker death every six days.
What are the most dangerous industries to work in?
In terms of workplace deaths, the dashboard groups agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting together. This combined industry ranks as the most dangerous, with 78 deaths from 2011 to 2014.
The second most dangerous industry was construction, with 47 deaths. Transportation and warehousing (28) and manufacturing (25) also had significant numbers of deaths.
For nonfatal injuries and illnesses, what are the most common types?
Sprains, strains and tears topped with dashboard list, with 7,7000 incidents in 2014. Pain and soreness was second with 4, 640. Fractures were third with 2.190.
What is the average cost of a workers’ compensation claim?
When both medical costs and lost wages are included, the average cost per work comp claim in Minnesota is about $11,000.
Overall, medical benefits account for a greater part of workers’ compensation than lost wage benefits.
What about amputations?
In 2015, there were 215 in Minnesota that led to work comp claims.
If you got hurt or sick at work and are unsure about what to do, getting help from a knowledgeable lawyer is a good way to move forward.