Overexertion involving outside sources is at the top of the list of costliest workplace injury causes in 2023, according to a new report.
Liberty Mutual Insurance’s Workplace Safety Index (WSI) is an annual report that “examines the top 10 causes of the most serious disabling workplace injuries – those leading to more than five missed workdays – ranked by their direct cost to employers based on medical expenses and lost wages.”
That’s the “largest chunk of the overall $48.2 billion spent on the top 10 injuries in workers’ compensation,” according to Business Insurance.
The rest of the top 10 costliest injury causes, include:
- falls on the same level at $9 billion
- falls to a lower level at $6 billion
- struck by objects or equipment at $5.1 billion
- other exertions or bodily reactions such as awkward postures at $3.7 billion
- exposure to other harmful substances at $3.4 billion
- vehicle crashes at $2.6 billion
- caught in or compressed by machinery at $2 billion
- slips, trips or falls at $1.9 billion, and
- vehicle crashes involving pedestrians at $1.6 billion.
These and other injuries cost U.S. businesses more than $1 billion per week, according to the 2023 WSI. That’s more than $58 billion per year, with most of them caused by the 10 types of incidents listed above.
New additions to the list
Exposure to other harmful substances and vehicle crashes involving pedestrians are on the WSI for the first time.
Without COVID-19 data, the 2022 WSI ranked exposure to other harmful substances at 18. Since that data has become available, this cause of injury has moved up to sixth place in 2023.
Liberty Mutual found that vehicle crashes involving pedestrians mostly occurred in occupations like:
- sales and truck drivers
- material movers
- food service
- distribution managers
- retail salespersons
- building cleaning and maintenance, and
- protective services.
Those occupations “were likely to be impacted by the challenges that COVID-19 placed on the U.S. supply chain, as well as on industrial hygiene, security, and novel delivery or parking-lot operations.”