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May 9th, 2014

Work Injuries in Wisconsin’s Manufacturing/Production Industries (Paper and Materials)

Wisconsin’s Work Injury Rate

As compared to the rest of the country, Wisconsin has a fairly high work injury rate. In 2012, the total number of recordable, nonfatal work injury cases was 4.1 per every 100 full-time workers, compared to the national average of 3.4 per every 100 full-time workers. Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses.

Related: Liability in a Construction Accident Case

Wisconsin’s economy is heavily dependent on its manufacturing industry, which includes paper manufacturing, materials manufacturing, and machinery manufacturing. In addition, food processing and production (beer and dairy products like cheese, milk and butter) also make up a sizeable portion of the state’s economy.

Paper Manufacturing in Wisconsin

Wisconsin’s paper industry is an anchor industry for the state. In fact, Wisconsin ranks in the top 3 in the U.S. for paper production; this includes paper mills and paper product production. Wisconsin’s largest cities are Milwaukee, Madison, and Green Bay. However, much of the state’s paper manufacturing occurs in much smaller cities and towns. There are multiple paper mills located throughout Wisconsin, including: Brokaw, Nekoosa, Rhinelander, Rothschild, Stevens Point, and Wisconsin Rapids.

At 3.6, the work injury rate (nonfatal) for paper manufacturing is more in line with the national average. However, the injury rate for paper product manufacturing and paperboard container manufacturing is slightly higher, at 4.1 and 4.6 respectively.

Related: Work Accidents & Burn Injuries

Metals & Machinery Manufacturing in Wisconsin

In addition to paper, Wisconsin’s economy is driven by other manufacturing industries, such as heavy equipment manufacturing. For instance, Caterpillar machinery operates in Wisconsin. Caterpillar produces machinery for the construction, mining and transportation industries: excavators, rollers, dump trucks, and bulldozers.

The work injury rate for Wisconsin’s machinery manufacturing industry is 5.0, and the work injury rate for the construction machinery manufacturing industry is 6.0. These numbers underscore the dangerousness of the machinery manufacturing industry in Wisconsin.

Fatal Work Accidents in Wisconsin (2008-2012)

According to the most recent data from the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development and the most recent data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2012, there were 114 fatal work accidents. When comparing data from 2008 to 2012, the annual average is 94; that’s almost 2 workers per week.

Year Total Number of Fatal Work Accidents
2012 114
2011 92
2010 93
2009 94
2008 77
Average 94

3 Common Types of Work Accidents in Wisconsin (2012 Data)

Type of Accident Total Number
Transportation accidents (highway, non-highway) 37
Contact with objects (struck by object or equipment) 26
Falls (lower level, same level) 16

Related: Workplace Fall Accidents & Injuries

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