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Lifting, falling represent nearly half of disabling workplace injuries: Report


Injuries caused by lifting heavy loads were once again named the costliest in workers compensation, according to data released Tuesday by Liberty Mutual Insurance Co.

The insurer’s Workplace Safety Index estimates the top 10 causes of the most serious workplace injuries — those causing an employee to miss more than five days of work — and ranks them by their direct costs of medical and lost-wage payments. The 2024 figures mirror those of the previous two years and are based on injuries occurring since 2021.

The insurer found that U.S. industries spent $58.07 billion on the direct costs of worker injuries, and 82.5% of that total was for the top 10 causes of disabling injuries and illnesses.

Ranking the types of injuries, Liberty Mutual found that “overexertion involving outside sources,” risked by lifting heavy loads, cost employers $12.49 billion in 2021. Falls, which typically rank as the top injury, took second and third place, with falls on same level costing employers $9.99 billion and falls to a lower level $5.68 billion. Combined, the three categories represented nearly half of all injuries.

The remaining top types of injuries included “other exertions or bodily reactions” at $3.68 billion, car accidents at $2.76 billion, slip or trips without falling at $2.34 billion, caught in or compressed by equipment or objects at $2.05 billion, struck against object or equipment at $1.84 billion, and repetitive motions involving microtasks at $1.54 billion.