Employee injury rates up in state-run skilled nursing facilities

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Nursing facilities ranked as the most injury- and illness-prone state-run workplace in 2016, according to data released Thursday by the Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The average rate of workplace injuries and illnesses per 100 nursing facility workers in all groupings in 2016 was 8.8. That's more than three times as much as the overall rate for private employers across all industries.

State-operated nursing and residential care facilities had a 13.7 average rate of workplace injuries and illnesses per 100 workers in 2016, compared to 12 per 100 in 2015. Hospitals and correctional institutions had the second- and third-highest injury employee-reported rates, according to the DOL.

Privately-owned skilled facilities and those operated by local governments fared better, with injury rates of 6.5 and 6.1, respectively. Those rates are lower than the 6.8 incidents per 100 workers in private facilities and 7.2 in local government-run facilities reported in 2015.

In total, skilled nursing facilities in all three categories reported more than 259,800 non-fatal workplace injuries and illnesses in 2016. Of those, 111,700 resulted in workers either spending days away from work, transferring jobs or experiencing restrictions in the types of work they could do.

The overall workplace injury and illness rate for private employers across all industries was just 2.9 per 100 workers, for a total of 2.9 million incidents, the DOL said.