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Injuries from falls span all ages

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Adults under age 65 account for two-thirds of fall-related injuries in the U.S., according to research released Wednesday by Liberty Mutual Research Institute for Safety.

In a study that was originally released in March by a research science and medicine journal, Liberty Mutual researchers tallied the total number of annual fall-related injuries for U.S. adults based on 2008-2014 data from the National Health Interview Survey.

The study reports fall injuries were almost equally divided across three age groups, with 32% occurring among adults over age 65, about 35% percent in adults ages 45-65 and about 32% affecting younger adults ages 18-44.

The most common fall-related injury was categorized as sprains and strains of joints and adjacent muscles, which accounted for 38% of fall-injuries.

The total number of annual fall-related injuries for adults in the U.S. was reported to be 9.9 million, with 67% of those involving adults of working age, the findings are considerable for employers.

“By drawing attention to the magnitude of this major public health concern, the findings will help companies in their ongoing efforts to protect workers and the public from falls,” Wayne Maynard, technical director, Liberty Mutual Risk Control Services said in a Wednesday news release.

“Protecting these groups provides a host of benefits for employers, from keeping skilled employees on the job, to protecting tight margins from the costs associated with workers compensation and general liability claims,” he said.

The report also noted that the total annual cost of all unintentional fall-related injuries that resulted in a fatality, hospitalization or treatment in emergency department for adults 18 years and older was $111 billion.

The highest cost of these fall injuries were in the 45-54 year age-group at $23 billion. Each fall-related injury cost approximately $500 for those in the 45-64 year age group.

Liberty Mutual's annual Workplace Safety Index, which can be found on their website, cites falls among the top 10 causes of the most serious and costly nonfatal U.S. work injuries.