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January 8, 2015

Top 5 Disabling Workplace Injuries Cause 2/3 of Workers' Comp Costs

disabling injury cost data
According to BLS and other data, the top five disabling workplace injuries accounted for 65 percent of all workers' compensation costs in 2012 (the most recent year for which data are available). U.S. businesses spend nearly $750,000 weekly on these five workplace injuries, according to the 2014 Liberty Mutual Workplace Safety Index.

The Index ranks the top causes of serious nonfatal workplace injuries (causing 6+ days lost work) by total workers' comp costs, based on information from Liberty Mutual, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and the National Academy of Social Insurance. 

The top five are:

  1. Overexertion Involving Outside Sources - $15.1 billion and 25.3% of the overall national cost. These include injuries related to lifting, pushing, pulling, holding, carrying or throwing. 
  2. Falls on the Same Level - $9.19 billion and 15.4 percent of the total injury burden.
  3. Struck By Object or Equipment - $5.3 billion and 8.9 percent of the total.
  4. Falls to Lower Level - $5.12 billion and 8.6 percent of the total
  5. Other Exertions - $4.27 billion and 7.2 percent of the total.
    This category includes injuries resulting from bending, crawling, reaching, twisting, climbing, stepping, kneeling, sitting, standing or walking. It no longer includes slipping or tripping without falling.

Rounding out the top 10:
   6. Motor Vehicle Accidents, 3.18 billion (5.3%)
   7. Slip or Trip Without Fall, $2.17 billion (3.6%)
   8. Caught in Equipment, $2.1 billion (3.5%)
   9. Repetitive Motions Involving Micro-tasks, $1.84 billion (3.1%)
 10. Struck Against Object or Equipment, $1.76 billion (2.9%)

All other BLS injury classifications accounted for just 16% of costs, at $9.55 billion.

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