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Facts and figures for Pennsylvania workers' comp injuries

Each year Pennsylvania's Bureau of Workers’ Compensation publishes a report that includes statistics for workers' compensation injuries from the previous year.

We dug into the most recent report and found some interesting facts regarding the state's 159,170 workers' comp injuries in 2016.

1. The most common workers' compensation injury, by far, was a sprain or strain. In 2016, 37.8 percent of all workers' comp injuries in Pennsylvania were sprains and strains, followed by contusion, crushing or bruising at 18.2 percent. Here is the breakdown by type:

  • Sprain, strain: 37.8 percent
  • Contusion, crushing, bruise: 18.2 percent
  • Cut, laceration, puncture: 16.7 percent
  • Fracture: 3.9 percent
  • Multiple injuries: 2.7 percent
  • Burns, heat, chemical: 1.9 percent
  • Occupational illness: 1.8 percent
  • Amputation, loss of use: 0.2 percent

Of the total, 16.8 percent were classified as "other."

2. Finger injuries were the most common type of workers' comp injury.

  • Fingers: 12.6 percent (20,090 injuries)
  • Back: 12.6 percent (19,978 injuries)
  • Knees: 7.7 percent
  • Shoulders: 6.7 percent
  • Arms: 6.6 percent
  • Hands: 6.5 percent
  • Ankles: 4.4 percent
  • Eyes: 3.9 percent
  • Feet: 3.8 percent
  • Wrists: 3.7 percent

In 8 percent of cases, workers suffered injuries to more than one part of the body.

3. The most common cause of workers' comp injuries was overexertion, at 26.2 percent of all cases. Here are the causes:

  • Overexertion: 26.2 percent
  • Struck by an object: 20.4 percent
  • Struck against: 12.2 percent
  • Fall on same level: 9.7 percent
  • Bodily reaction: 9.4 percent
  • Caught in, under or between: 4.3 percent
  • Radiation, caustics: 4.2 percent
  • Highway motor accident: 3 percent
  • Fall from higher level: 2.7 percent
  • Contact with temperature extremes: 2 percent

A total of 5.6 percent of cases were classified as "other."

4. The 25 to 29 age group had the highest percentage of the total injuries, at 12.3 percent. Here are the leading age-group categories:

  • 25 to 29: 12.3 percent
  • 50 to 54: 11.5 percent
  • 45 to 49 and 55 to 59: 10.9 percent
  • 30 to 34: 10.7 percent
  • 40 to 44: 9.5 percent

The under-18 category experienced 0.8 percent of the injuries.

5. Men suffered more on-the-job injuries than women.

Male: 57.8 percent

Female: 42.2 percent

6. Philadelphia County had the largest percentage of injuries (8.8 percent). More than 40 percent of the state's workplace injuries came from 10 of the 67 counties. 

  • Philadelphia: 8.8 percent
  • Allegheny: 8.4 percent
  • Montgomery: 4.2 percent
  • Lancaster: 3.3 percent
  • Berks and York: 3 percent
  • Bucks and Chester: 2.9 percent

Locally, Lehigh County had 2.7 percent of the injuries; Northampton had 1.4 percent; and Monroe had 0.6 percent.

7. The largest number of injuries occurred in the education and health services industries. Here are the top industries for injuries:

  • Education and health services: 28.1 percent
  • Trade, transportation and utilities: 26 percent
  • Manufacturing: 12.5 percent

The vast majority of the education and health-services injuries occurred at hospitals, clinics and residential-care facilities. 

If you have suffered a workplace injury or have questions about workers' compensation, contact an attorney who has experience with Pennsylvania workers' comp law.

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