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U.S. Companies Pay $62 Billion Per Year for Workplace Injuries Thinkstock

U.S. Companies Pay $62 Billion Per Year for Workplace Injuries

The annual cost to U.S. business of lost-time workplace injuries is greater than the gross domestic product (GDP) of 91 countries, according to data from the World Monetary Fund.

Workplace injuries and accidents that cause employees to miss six or more days of work cost U.S. employers nearly $62 billion in 2013, the most recent year for which statistically valid injury data is available from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and the National Academy of Social Insurance, according to the 2016 Liberty Mutual Workplace Safety Index. That is more than $1billion per week spent on the most disabling, nonfatal workplace injuries.

The 10 leading causes of the most disabling work-related injuries account for more than $51 billion, or 82.5 percent of the total cost of $62 billion. Overexertion, the No. 1 cause of serious or disabling workplace injuries, accounted for nearly 25 percent of the total.

See the related photo gallery, "The 10 Most-Expensive Non-Fatal Workplace Injuries."

“We rank the top 10 causes of the most serious, nonfatal workplace injuries by their direct costs each year to help companies improve safety, which better protects both employees and the bottom-line,” notes Debbie Michel, general manager of Liberty Mutual’s National Insurance Casualty operation.  “Workplace accidents impact employees’ physical, emotional and financial wellbeing.  They also financially burden employers, who pay all of the medical costs related to a workplace injury, together with some portion of an injured employee’s pay.  Beside these direct costs, workplace injuries also produce such indirect costs for employers as hiring temporary employees, lost productivity, quality disruptions and damage to a company’s employee engagement and external reputation.”

Now in its 12th year, the study’s ranking of the top leading causes of the most serious workplace accidents is remarkably consistent with earlier findings.    

“By highlighting the direct costs of the most serious workplace accidents, the annual Liberty Mutual Workplace Safety Index informs the national agenda on workplace safety,” notes Dr. Ian Noy, director, Liberty Mutual Research Institute for Safety.  “It also provides a key tool for individual companies to benchmark safety performance, and focus improvement efforts and resources on the most pressing areas.”

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