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Almost two-thirds of workers comp costs traced to top five injury types

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The five leading causes of workplace injuries accounted for about 65% of workers compensation costs in 2012, according to new research by Liberty Mutual Group Inc.

Overexertion — or injuries related to lifting, pushing, pulling, holding, carrying or throwing — was the top cause of workplace injury in 2012, representing 25.3% of the top 10 work hazards and costing U.S. businesses $15.1 billion, according to the Liberty Mutual Research Institute for Safety's 2014 Workplace Safety Index released Wednesday.

Rounding out the top five causes of workplace injuries were falls on the same level, being struck by an object or equipment, falls to a lower level, and other exertions or bodily reactions, according to Liberty Mutual's research.

Falls on the same level cost $9.19 billion in 2012, while falls to a lower level cost $5.12 billion, according to the index.

Roadway incidents involving motorized vehicles ranked sixth on the list, costing U.S. businesses $3.18 billion in 2012 and accounting for 5.3% of the 10 leading causes of workplace injury, according to the research.

Liberty Mutual's' report is based on information from the company's workers comp claims, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, and the National Academy of Social Insurance.