For Immendiate Release: September 1, 1995
State's workplaces are safer
Wisconsin's workplaces are getting safer, Carol Skornicka, Wis. Secretary of
Industry, Labor and Human Relations, announced this Labor Day. Fewer workers
were killed or injured on the job last year even though more people are
But each mishap is more costly. The average indemnity paid for each
workplace injury and fatality increased 4.1 percent to $3,452 in 1994.
The number of all worker's compensation claims declined by 131 to 73,678
in 1994 even though more people are working. Worker's Comp claims have
declined by just over 6 percent since 1992's high of 78,489 while the
number of workers over that time has increased by just over 5 percent.
The drop in workplace fatalities was more dramatic. Last year 109 workers
were killed on the job in Wisconsin, 29 fewer that the year before.
Only 6 of those fatally injured were women. Self-employed workers accounted
for nearly one-third (34) of the fatal accidents.
Motor vehicle accidents, both on the road and off, were the leading cause
of death. More fatal accidents (21) occurred in Milwaukee County,
the state's most populous county, folloed by 5 in Waukesha County and 4 in
Dane County. Workplace fatalities do not include death by natural causes,
such as heart attack. Agriculture was the most dangerous line of work.
Farming accounted for 25 deaths, 12 fewer than the year before.
Wisconsin's excellent workplace safety resulted in an average decrease of
11.9 percent in worker's compensation insurance rates this year. That was
on top of a 9.5 reduction last year.
"It is no accident that the better-managed businesses have fewer accidents,"
Skornicka said. "The good manager knows that accidents not only hurt people
but also the organization, itself. Workers often are the best source of
information about what's really happening on the shop floor and in the
office. They know what's not safe and how it can be fixed. They'll tell you
about an unsafe condition if you listen."
Recognizing that a good safety record is no accident, DILHR's Worker's
Compensation Division and the Wisconsin Council of Safety teamed up to make
the first annual Wisconsin Corporate Safety Award last March to companies
with exemplary safety records.
DILHR's Safety & Buildings Division offers a free, no-penalty safety
consultation service. (In the Waukesha area call 414/521-5063; in La Crosse
608/785-9339; Chippewa Falls 715/726-2543; Green Bay 414/492-5603.)
For more information contact David Blaska, 608/267-4400,