According to the 2017 Liberty Mutual Workplace Safety Index, serious, nonfatal workplace injuries now amount to nearly $60 billion in direct U.S. workers’ compensation costs per year. This translates into more than $1 billion dollars a week spent by businesses on these injuries.
The Liberty Mutual Workplace Safety Index helps employers, risk managers and safety practitioners make workplaces safer by identifying critical risk areas so that businesses can better allocate safety resources.
Top 10 Injury Causes
1. Overexertion involving outside sources ranked first among the leading causes of disabling injury. This event category, which includes injuries related to lifting, pushing, pulling, holding, carrying or throwing objects, cost businesses $13.79 billion in direct costs and accounted for 23 percent of the overall national burden.
2. Falls on same level ranked second with direct costs of $10.62 billion and accounted for 17.7 percent of the total injury burden.
3. Falls to a lower level ranked third at $5.50 billion and 9.2 percent of the burden.
4. Struck by object or equipment ranked fourth at $4.43 billion and 7.4 percent.
5. Other exertions or bodily reactions ranked fifth at $3.89 billion and 6.5 percent of the total injury burden.
These top five injury causes accounted for 63.8 percent of the total cost burden for U.S. businesses.
The remaining five injury causes combined accounted for 19.5 percent of the total direct cost of disabling injuries. These included: roadway incidents involving motorized land vehicle (#6, $3.7 billion); slip or trip without fall (#7, $2.3 billion); caught in/compressed by equipment or objects (#8, $1.95 billion); struck against objects or equipment (#9, $1.94 billion); and repetitive motions involving micro-tasks (#10, $1.81 billion).
Direct costs of all disabling work-related injuries equaled $59.87 billion, with the top 10 causes comprising 83.4 percent – or $49.92 billion – of the total cost burden to employers.