Growth in Employment & Growth in On-the-Job Injuries
Huntsville has overtaken Birmingham as Alabama’s largest city, with a population of 215,006, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Huntsville’s population grew by 2.1 percent – or close to 6,000 people – between 2019 and 2020. The Huntsville metropolitan area grew by another 4,000 people. That’s one of the fastest growth rates in the country, according to the Census Bureau. Together, that’s 10,000 people added to the population in a single year.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, in the last 12 months, Huntsville has seen the largest growth in the following sectors:
While growth in population and employment are great, they aren’t without growing pains. With the increase in people and jobs necessarily comes an increase in on-the-job injuries.
Construction and transportation are some of the most dangerous work activities.
Check out these statistics:
20% of worker fatalities in 2019 in the US private sector were in construction.
40% of all occupational fatalities in 2019 were attributed to transportation incidents.
Slips, trips, and falls, overexertion, bodily reactions, as well as contact with objects and equipment account for more than 84% of all non-fatal injuries involving days away from work.
The occupations with the highest incidence rates of workplace injuries in 2019 included: Heavy truck and tractor-trailer truck drivers; laborers and freight, stock, and material movers; light truck drivers; construction laborers; and maintenance and repair workers. These jobs are common in our area.
Huntsville’s other growth areas provide other injury-prone environments. Other occupations with high incidence rates for workplace injuries include nursing assistants and registered nurses. But Huntsville’s unique and growing economy creates many opportunities for “non-traditional” injuries, including soft-tissue and stress-related.
In fact, the 10 most dangerous occupations for workers are prevalent within Huntsville’s economy (with the underlined being the three areas of largest growth):
Health care and social assistance
Accommodation and food services
Transportation and warehousing
Administrative and waste services
Other services (except public administration)
Professional and technical services