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Workplace injuries in Connecticut higher than national average

According to recent statistics from University of Connecticut Health, work-related injuries and illnesses in Connecticut are more prevalent than the national average. Not only that, but it's been that way for the last seven years, and it's getting worse. Workplace injuries and illnesses have risen 8 percent since the previous year that statistics were available.

The ability to compare state workers' compensation numbers from around the United States has only been available for the last seven years. During each of these years, Connecticut has had greater than average workplace illness and injury statistics. The professor who authored the study says he's troubled by the fact that Connecticut has such a bad track record. He says that employers in Connecticut need to use the knowledge more effectively to prevent illnesses and injuries.

The University of Connecticut report was drafted on behalf of the state's Workers' Compensation Commission as part of its Occupational Injury and Illness Surveillance System. The OIISS looks for patterns in the state's occupational illness and disease figures to create new solutions that can prevent them in the future.

According to the most recently available data from 2014, Connecticut had 8,257 cases of occupational illness. Most of these included cases related to musculoskeletal problems, infectious diseases, respiratory issues and skin conditions.

The effect on Connecticut workers

Does this mean that every bricklayer, electrician, auto mechanic and other blue-collar worker employed in and around Shelton are suddenly at a much higher risk of getting hurt on the job or coming down with a work-related illness? Certainly not any more at risk than they were yesterday or a year ago today.

What it does indicate are trends for workers and their employers so they can focus more intensely on safety practices in the workplace. That alone can forestall many avoidable injuries and exposures that lead to chronic, debilitating illnesses among the labor force.

Some areas and industries show higher numbers than others

The report identified several industries with the highest levels of injuries and illnesses that could benefit from increased attention to safety. Those include the education and health, government, manufacturing and transportation industries.

Some cities also have more illnesses and injuries than others. For example, the highest rates were found in Middletown, Hartford, New Haven, Southington, Stratford, Cheshire and Wallingford. The towns and cities with the highest rates usually have large companies that employ workers in high hazard jobs. However, the higher numbers for these cities might merely indicate that they are more diligent in reporting cases.

Alternatively, they could have local occupational health centers that diagnose the causes of conditions more accurately. One of the biggest problems for occupational illnesses and diseases is the fact that many still remain unreported.

Are you suffering from illness or injury caused by your job?

Many Connecticut workers could be receiving money to help pay for their medical care and lost income caused by their work-related illnesses and injuries. However, they haven't made the connection between their health problems and their jobs. If you suspect that you're in this kind of situation, speaking with a Connecticut workers' compensation lawyer is an excellent way to learn about your legal rights and options.

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