Safety and OSHA News

Top 10 causes and costs of disabling workplace injuries

Serious (but non-fatal) workplace injuries cost U.S. businesses $1.19 billion a week in workers’ compensation. What types of injuries contribute most to this $61.88 billion a year cost to employers? 

The 2016 Liberty Mutual Workplace Safety Index breaks down the top 10 causes of these disabling injuries:

  1. Overexertion involving outside sources (injuries related to lifting, pushing, pulling, holding, carrying or throwing objects): 24.4%, $15.08 billion
  2. Falls on same level: 16.4%, $10.17 billion
  3. Falls to lower level: 8.7%, $5.4 billion
  4. Struck by object or equipment: 8.6%, $5.31 billion
  5. Other exertions of bodily reactions: 6.7%, $4.15 billion
  6. Roadway incidents involving motorized land vehicle: 4.8%, $2.96 billion
  7. Slip or trip without fall: 3.6%, $2.35 billion
  8. Caught in/compressed by equipment or objects: 3.2%, $1.97 billion
  9. Struck against object or equipment, 3.0%, $1.85 billion, and
  10. Repetitive motions involving micro-tasks: 2.9%, $1.82 billion.

The top five injury causes account for almost two-thirds of the total cost burden. The top 10 causes comprise 82.5% or $51.06 billion of the total costs.

The Workplace Safety Index is based on information from Liberty Mutual, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and the National Academy of Social Insurance. Liberty Mutual examined BLS injury data to determine which events caused employees to miss six or more days of work and then rank those events by total workers’ compensation costs.

Print Friendly

Subscribe Today

Get the latest and greatest safety news and insights delivered to your inbox.


  1. What’s interesting is that #1 is probably the most preventable with ongoing coaching and mentoring to help individuals understand how changing their actions/behaviors can reduce the likelihood of those injuries. The overexertion link refers to the aging workforce, once again individual actions/behaviors come into play. Aging causes a natural deconditioning and ones actions/behaviors if remained unchanged, i.e. poor body mechanics + physical decondition = injury + longer recovery time. Changed behavior + proper ergonomic controls = cost savings through decreased overexertion injuries.


  1. […] Last year, the Index put the cost of the most disabling workplace injuries at $61.88 billion. The top 10 causes remained in the same order from last to this year. […]

Speak Your Mind