Login Register Subscribe
Current Issue

Overexertion tops list of workplace injury causes

Reprints

The most disabling nonfatal workplace injuries cost U.S. employers nearly $62 billion in 2013, according to Liberty Mutual Research Institute for Safety's 2016 Workplace Safety Index, published Thursday.

The 10 leading causes of the most disabling work-related injuries, causing employees to miss six or more days of work, account for more than $51 billion, or 82.5%, of these costs, according to the index.

Overexertion — or injuries related to lifting, pushing, pulling, holding, carrying or throwing — was again the top cause of workplace injuries, costing employers more than $15 billion in 2013, followed by falls on the same level at almost $10.2 billion and falls to a lower level at $5.4 billion, according to the index.

Rounding out the top five causes were struck by object or equipment at $5.3 billion, and other exertions or bodily reactions at nearly $4.2 billion, according to the index.

The next five leading causes of injuries are:

• Roadway incidents involving motorized land vehicle $3.0 billion

• Slip or trip without fall $2.4 billion

• Caught in/compressed by equipment or other objects $2.0 billion

• Struck against object or equipment $1.9 billion

• Repetitive motions involving microtasks $1.8 billion

“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,” Debbie Michel, general manager of Liberty Mutual's National Insurance Casualty operation, said in a statement. “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.”

Liberty Mutual's 12th annual report is based on information from the company's workers compensation claims and the most recent year for which statistically valid injury data is available from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and the National Academy of Social Insurance.