Overexertion and falls account for more than $25 billion in workers’ compensation costs in the U.S.
Being hurt by an object or equipment ranks third in workplace injury causes and claims costs in the Liberty Mutual Research Institute for Safety’s 2014 Workplace Safety Index.
In its 15th year, the annual ranking of top 10 causes of serious, nonfatal workplace injuries is based on the company’s workers’ compensation claims data and data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the National Academy of Social Insurance.
The research institute examined 2012 claims data for injuries lasting six or more days and ranked the injuries by total workers’ compensation costs.
10 Leading Causes and Direct Costs of Workplace Injuries in 2012:
- Overexertion $15.1B 25.3%
- Falls on same level $9.19B 15.4%
- Struck by object or equipment $5.3B 8.9%
- Falls to lower level $5.12B 8.6%
- Other exertions or bodily reactions $4.27B 7.2%
- Roadway incidents involving motorized land vehicle $3.18B 5.3%
- Slip or trip without fall $2.17B 3.6%
- Caught in/compressed by equipment or objects $2.1B 3.5%
- Repetitive motions involving micro-tasks $1.84B 3.1%
- Struck against object or equipment $1.76B 2.9%
The leading cause of injury on the list, overexertion, was typically related to lifting, pushing, pulling, holding, carrying or throwing. Other exertions, which came in at number five, includes injuries due to bending, crawling, reaching, twisting, climbing, stepping, kneeling, sitting, standing or walking.
According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, worker deaths in America are down. In 1970, there were on average 38 worker deaths a day and in 2012, the figure was down to 12 deaths a day. OSHA reports workplace fatalities have been reduced by more than 65 percent and occupational injury and illness rates have declined by 67 percent. At the same time, U.S. employment has almost doubled.