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Claims related to overexertion and falls on the same level topped the list of the most expensive workers compensation claims, according to Liberty Mutual Insurance Co.’s 2019 workplace safety index, released Wednesday.
The report, based on data from Liberty Mutual, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and the National Academy of Social Insurance, reports the causes and costs of the most serious workplace injuries for eight industries.
Workers comp claims for overexertion involving outside sources cost employers $13.11 billion, or 24% of all claim payouts. Falls on the same level resulted in claims of $10.38 billion, comprising 19% of workers comp claims.
Other top 10 claim payouts included being struck by an object or equipment, 9.4%; falls to a lower level, 9%; other exertions, 6.7%; and roadway incidents involving a motorized vehicle, 4.9%.
In the construction industry, which routinely reports the highest number of injuries, the number one claim cost was for falls to lower levels. Overexertion was cited as the biggest cost of comp loss in manufacturing, transportation and warehousing, health care and retail. Falls from the same level took the top spot in professional services and leisure and hospitality.
According to the report, the total cost of the top 10 most disabling workplace injuries was $46.9 billion in 2019, or about 85% of all workers comp claims in those eight industries.
The frigid cold blast affecting the Midwest and the snow projected for the South can increase safety hazards and result in an uptick in workplace injuries, experts say.