April 27, 2016
Instead of just falling snow and sleet, winter weather forecasts could also call for falling workers. While warmer weather has arrived, some workers are still feeling the effects of winter. In 2014, there were 42,480 workplace injuries and illnesses involving ice, sleet, or snow that required at least one day away from work to recuperate. These resulted from falls, slips or trips; overexertion and bodily reaction; transportation incidents; and contact with objects and equipment. Among these injuries and illnesses were 34,860, or 82 percent, that were due to falls on the same level (that is, not from falls from heights or through surfaces).
In 2014, some states had thousands of workers who were injured in falls on the same level where ice, sleet, or snow contributed to the incident. Among them were New York (4,470), Pennsylvania (2,390), and Michigan (2,040). Other states had incidence rates (per 10,000 full-time workers) at least two-and-a-half times greater than the national rate (3.2) for ice, sleet, or snow related falls. Among them were Montana (12.2), Maine (11.2), Wyoming (10.6), and Alaska (9.5).
Texas reported 560 cases of ice, sleet, or snow related falls, with an incidence rate of 0.6 cases per 10,000 full-time workers. That was among the lowest rates in the country. However, workers in Texas took a median of 90 days to recuperate from their injuries and illnesses from same-level falls due to ice, sleet, or snow, the highest among all states and 10 times greater than the national figure, which was a median of 9 days.
These data are from the Injuries, Illnesses, and Fatalities program. Work injuries exclude those experienced on the commute to work. To learn more, see "Nonfatal occupational injuries and illnesses requiring days away from work, 2014" (HTML) (PDF).
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, 42,480 work injuries involved ice, sleet, or snow in 2014 at https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2016/42480-work-injuries-involved-ice-sleet-or-snow-in-2014.htm (visited April 19, 2021).