Teaching is not a particularly dangerous or injury-prone occupation, especially when compared with, say, nursing, policing or driving. But it is still interesting to see just how many workplace injuries teachers do suffer in the Bureau of Labor Statistics annual report on the nation’s workplace injuries. And people employed in education in public schools seem to be have had a safer work environment in 2012 than in 2011.
In 2012, a little more than 56,000 people employed in local government education services suffered an injury on the job, an incidence rate of 108 injuries per 10,000 workers. That’s down from 2011 when 63,950 injuries were reported in public schools, an incidence rate of 120.5 injuries per 10,000 workers. The days taken off from work is going up however. The median days missed for a workplace injury for local government education services was 8 in 2012, a day more than in 2011.
But what caught my attention was a subcategory of injuries caused by violence by another person or animal. That incidence rate increased in 2012 for people working in public schools to 13.9 violent injuries on the job for every 10,000 workers from a 12.3 incidence rate in 2011.
I’m not exactly clear what kinds of jobs fall under local government education services. I believe they include not only teachers, but also janitors and school security guards.
People employed in private sector educational services had about half the rate of total injuries (55.5 injuries per 10,000) and violent injuries (6.8 injuries per 10,000) of their public school counterparts.
On the final page of the annual report, elementary school teachers are broken out as a separate category in an analysis of musculoskeletal on-the-job injuries. More than a thousand Elementary school teachers across the nation suffered these kind of injuries in 2012, down from roughly 1500 in 2011. The incidence rate (injuries per 10,000 workers) declined to 9.9 from 13.2. But just as before, the median number of days being taken off from work for each injury is increasing — seven days in 2012 instead of five in 2011.
The public school injury rate for elementary school teachers was double the rate for private schools.