American businesses are spending nearly $60 billion a year on Workers Compensation claims that require at least six missed work days, according to a recent analysis by Liberty Mutual Insurance. All but a small fraction of this money is spent on the top 10 causes of serious workplace injuries. If you employ workers in the skilled trades, this is a trend you need to know about.
The Top 10 Types of Disabling Workplace Injuries
- Overexertion involving outside sources, including lifting, pulling and carrying: $13.7 billion
- Falls on the same level: $11.2 billion
- Falls to a lower level: $5.9 billion
- Struck by object or equipment: $5.3 billion
- Other exertions or bodily reactions: $4.2 billion
- Roadway incidents involving motorized land vehicle: $3.2 billion
- Slip or trip without fall: $2.3 billion
- Caught in or compressed by equipment or objects: $2.1 billion
- Struck against object or equipment: $2 billion
- Repetitive motions involving micro-tasks: $1.5 billion
Liberty Mutual’s annual workplace safety index is based on internal data and information from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and the National Academy of Insurance.
Study is a Sign to Contractors to Improve Safety
“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,” said Debbie Michel, general manager, Liberty Mutual’s National Insurance Casualty operation.
“Workplace accidents impact employees’ physical, emotional and financial wellbeing. They also financially burden employers, who pay all of the medical costs related to a workplace injury, together with some portion of an injured employee’s pay. Beside these direct costs, 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.”
Workers Compensation Claims Get Costlier
Even though the American workplace is generally becoming safer, the cost of the most serious workplace injuries continues to rise. While the total amount of workplace injuries and illnesses dropped 1.5 percent in the last year, the direct and indirect costs of those Workers Compensation claims increased 2.9 percent.