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The cost of workplace injuries and illnesses continues to rise despite a drop in the number of workplace incidents, according to the 2018 Liberty Mutual Workplace Safety Index, published Tuesday.
The number of the most serious workplace injuries and illnesses fell by 1.5%, but their cost, including both medical and lost-wage payments, increased by 2.9% between Boston-based Liberty Mutual Insurance Co.’s 2017 and 2018 reports.
The total cost of the most disabling work-related injuries, causing employees to miss six or more days of work, was $58.5 billion, with the 10 leading causes accounting for $51.4 billion of that total, according to the index.
Overexertion was again the top cause of workplace injuries, costing employers $13.7 billion in 2015, according to the index. Falls on the same level was next on the list with a cost of $11.2 billion, while falls to a lower level cost employers another $5.9 billion.
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.
California’s overall incidence rate of nonfatal occupational injuries and illnesses remained steady at 3.7 cases per 100 workers for full-time employees, the lowest rate in over a decade, according to data from California’s Department of Industrial Relations.