Each year thousands of Granite State workers are injured on the job. Many of these injuries are minor and the worker loses no time from work and requires little to no medical attention. A small portion of the reported injuries are more severe, and workers miss time from work and require extensive medical treatment to return to their pre-injury status. The New Hampshire Department of Labor releases a biennial report that contains information regarding the number and types of injuries, the industries in which the injuries occur, and the number of cases litigated before the Department every year.
The most recently published biennial report found that the majority of injured workers sustain minor ailments that do not result in lost time from work. In fiscal year 2013, there were 38,998 reported workplace injuries and 644,000 non-agricultural employees in New Hampshire, resulting in an incident rate of 6.1%. Lost time from injuries occurred in 3,530 cases: less than 10% of all injuries.
The causes of injuries in New Hampshire are diverse. Greater than 10 percent of the injuries in fiscal year 2013 were the result of an object hitting an employee (4,101), while nearly 19 percent were the result of an employee lifting an object (7,359). The most common injury type involved a muscle pull or strain which accounted for 13,926 of the 38,998 injuries, or approximately 36% of all injuries. Bruises, cuts, or puncture wounds accounted for another 37% of the reported injuries (14,591).
The biennial report also provides a breakdown of the industries that account for the majority of workplace injuries. While nearly a third of reported injuries (13,156) were not classified by industry, the remaining two thirds (25,842) were. Health Care and Social Assistance resulted in the most reported injuries, tallying 5,013 out of 25,842, or approximately 19% of classified injuries. Motor Vehicle and Parts Dealers came next with approximately 12% (3,086) of all reported injuries. Accommodation and Food Services, Educational Services, and Metal Manufacturing separately accounted for approximately 7% of all reported injuries, with 1,893, 1,755, and 2,022 injuries reported respectively. These five industries account for more than half of all classified injuries in the state.
Looking at these numbers, it is clear that New Hampshire is a safe state in which to work, with only slightly more than 6% of employees injured each year and less than 10% of all injuries resulting in lost time from work. It should come as no surprise that a large percentage of all injuries result from employment in Health Care and Social Assistance or Motor Vehicle and Parts Dealers since these industries employ thousands of people in New Hampshire and require substantial amounts of physical work.
Of the thousands of incidents that result in injuries to Granite State workers, only approximately 5% result in litigation before the New Hampshire Department of Labor. When litigating a case, injured employees and insurance carriers or employers are usually represented by counsel.