The top 10 causes of workplace injuries – such as slips, trips and falls and strains from lifting heavy objects – are costing U.S. businesses more than $1 billion per week, according to a new report from Liberty Mutual Insurance.
Disabling workplace injuries cost employers $59 billion per year with the top 10 causes making up 89% or $52.93 billion of the total cost burden, the report states.
Obviously, getting these top causes under control could keep employees from getting hurt while saving the company a great deal of money.
The annual report is based on information collected by Liberty Mutual, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and National Academy of Social Insurance on the top causes of the most serious workplace injuries – those that cause employees to miss work for more than five days.
Those causes were then ranked by their direct cost to employers based on medical and lost-wage expenses, according to a Liberty Mutual news release.
To capture accurate injury cost data, the index is based on data from three years prior, so the 2020 index reflects 2017 data.
The Top 10
The 2020 Workplace Safety Index names these causes as the top five:
- Overexertion involving outside sources, costing $13.98 billion per year and accounting for 23.5% of the overall national burden.
- Falls on the same level, costing $10.84 billion per year and 18.2% of the burden.
- Being struck by an object or equipment, costing $6.12 billion per year and 10.3% of the burden.
- Falls to a lower level, costing $5.71 billion per year and 9.6% of the burden.
- Awkward postures – including bending, reaching, twisting, climbing, crawling, kneeling, sitting, standing, walking and running – costing $4.69 billion per year and 7.9% of the burden.
These injury causes account for 69.5% of the total cost burden employers bear, while the remaining 5 causes, listed below, make up 19.5% of the total cost burden:
- Vehicle crashes, costing $3.56 billion per year.
- Slips or trips without a fall, costing $2.06 billion per year.
- Repetitive motions involving microtasks, costing $2.05 billion per year.
- Colliding with objects, costing $2 billion per year.
- Running equipment or machinery, costing $1.92 billion per year.
Data from the report was also broken down into eight industry-specific reports detailing the most costly injuries for:
- healthcare and social services
- hospitality and leisure
- professional services
- transportation and warehousing, and