Pennsylvania Sees 4-Year Low in Workplace Injuries

The number of workplace injuries in Pennsylvania hit a 4-year low in 2004. There were 93,566 workplace injuries in 2004, a drop of more than 5,500 from the year before.

The 2004 total was the lowest since 2000, when there were 82,676 workplace injuries. Work-related fatalities dropped by 10 in 2004 to 130.

Gov. Edward Rendell said the decrease shows that his administration's efforts to keep Pennsylvania workers safe on the job are bearing fruit.

"While this news is encouraging, we must continue to decrease the number of workplace injuries," Rendell said. "Every Pennsylvanian has the right to be safe at work."

Pennsylvania Labor and Industry Secretary Stephen Schmerin said the state has programs in place "that encourage employers to make workplace safety a No. 1 priority."

He pointed to the state's certified Workplace Safety Committee Program, which offers a 5 percent discount on workers' compensation premiums to any company that creates and maintains a certified workplace safety committee. More than 6,100 businesses in Pennsylvania are taking advantage of the program. Currently more than 840,000 employees are covered by such committees and the state's employers have saved almost $200 million in workers' compensation premiums as a result of their participation in this program, according to the governor's office.

"Employers who have certified workplace safety committees not only save money, but report fewer accidents and injuries," Rendell said. "The program is a win-win for businesses and employees alike. The employees have safer working conditions, while the business owner reduces operating costs."

Schmerin noted that his agency and the Rendell administration share similar goals.

"It is good to see that our efforts translate into improved safety across the commonwealth," Schmerin said. "We are dedicated to improving safety, and like the governor, we want to see workplace fatalities and injuries continue to decline."

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