The Latest Pennsylvania Workers Compensation Statistics

Correctly calculating an injured worker’s compensation rate is both a complicated and critical undertaking. An incorrect calculation may lead to costly litigation, penalties, even the disallowance of a claim under some circumstances. In 1906, James Powell, Sr. founded Powell Law. Since then, our attorneys have litigated workers’ compensation cases involving all types of workplace injuries.

Pennsylvania law requires that all work injuries and illnesses resulting in death, permanent impairment or loss of time beyond a day or shift of occurrence are required to be reported to the Bureau of Workers Compensation, part of the Department of Labor & Industry. This information is part of the Bureau’s annual report. For 2018, this reflects data reported as of January 19, 2019. The annual report for 2019 has not yet been released.

The most recent statistics available from the annual report show the following facts related to Pennsylvania work injuries:

  • 173,267 work injury and illness cases were reported to the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation. This is 949 less than the number reported in 2017.
  • In 2018, a total of 39,322 workers’ compensation petitions were filed in Pennsylvania, a decrease from 2017.
  • 41,268 petitions were assigned and 43,054 petitions were decided.
  • Fatalities decreased from 82 in 2017 to 66 in 2018. The most fatalities occurred in Trade, Transportation & Utilities (15) followed by Professional & Business Services (13).
  • 69 fatal workers’ compensation petitions were filed, which was tied for the lowest in the last five years.
  • 173,267 workplace injuries were reported in Pennsylvania in 2018.

Rate of Injury

  • The injury rate per 1,000 workers decreased from 29.2 in 2017 to 28.8 in 2018.
  • Professional & Business Services had the highest increase in 2018 (9.4 percentage points), followed by Manufacturing (0.9). Education & Health Services (-2.4) had the largest decrease followed by Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing & Hunting (-2.2).
  • More than half (93,174 cases) of the 173,267 injury and illness cases reported in 2018 occurred in two supersectors: Education & Health Services (48,415 cases, 27.9 percent) and Trade, Transportation & Utilities (44,759 cases, 25.8 percent).

Type of Injury or Illness

  • The most frequent types of injuries in these fields were sprains and strains, which accounted for 37.3% of the total cases reported in 2018.
  • The next three types of injuries accounted for over half (52.1 percent) of all reported injuries in 2018: contusions, crushing and bruising injuries (33,850 cases, 19.5 percent); “other” injuries and illnesses (28,661 cases, 16.5 percent); and cuts, lacerations, and punctures (27,802, 16.0 percent). Together they accounted for 90,313 of the 173,267 reported injuries in Pennsylvania for 2018

Cause of Injury or Illness

  • The most frequent causes of injury were overexertion (30 percent) and being struck by an object or other material.
  • Overexertion (lifting, pulling, pushing, etc.) was the leading cause of injury. There were 43,789 overexertion injuries, accounting for 25.3 percent of all injuries. Being struck by falling, flying, or other objects was the next leading cause of injury, with 36,573 cases reported (21.1 percent), followed by struck against objects (19,159 cases, 11.1 percent).

Age and Gender of Injured Worker

  • In 2018, workers in the 25-29 age group sustained the greatest number of injuries. This age group had 21,270 cases, which represented 12.3 percent of the total reported. The median age of all injured workers in 2018 was 41.9 years. By industry, the median age of injured workers ranged from 32.0 in Leisure & Hospitality to 46.9 in Financial Activities. The largest number of fatalities (9 each) was reported in both the 55-59 and the 60-64 age groups.
  • Of the 173,267 injury and illness cases reported in 2018, 160,341 cases reported the gender of the injured worker. From the cases that reported gender, 57.1 percent of injured workers were male. Of the 66 fatality cases reported in 2018, 60 were male, 5 were female, and 1 did not disclose the gender. The median age of injured male workers was 41.3, while the median age of injured female workers was 42.4.

Powell Law has represented injured workers for 115 years and has a distinguished reputation throughout northeastern Pennsylvania for adhering to the highest standards in serving those injured on the job. Contact Powell Law at (570) 961-0777. The consultation is FREE, and you don’t pay unless we win!

The Latest Pennsylvania Workers Compensation Statistics

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