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Overexertion, falls top list of most expensive work injuries

As an employer, you are no doubt well aware of the costs of serious work injuries. Missed workdays mean a smaller pool of available employees, which can have a significant impact upon productivity and, more importantly, your bottom line.

However, have you ever stopped to think about the cumulative costs of work injuries to employers throughout the United States?

Interestingly, the annual Liberty Mutual Workplace Safety Index -- performed by researchers at the Boston-based insurance giant -- measures which injuries were the most costly to U.S. employers in terms of total work comp costs.

In fact, the latest Liberty Mutual Workplace Safety Index, released earlier this month, determined that overexertion injuries -- meaning those caused by carrying, holding, lifting, pulling, pushing or throwing -- were responsible for almost $13 billion in work comp costs for employers in 2009.

Following overexertion, the work injuries with the highest work comp costs for employers in 2009 were:

  • Falls on the same level - $7.94 billion
  • Falls to lower levels - $5.35 billion
  • Bodily reaction injuries (i.e., those caused by bending, climbing, sitting, standing, tripping/slipping without falling) - $5.28 billion
  • Strikes by objects - $4.64 billion
  • Highway accidents - $2.18 billion
  • Trapping/compressing accidents - $2.04 billion
  • Strikes against objects - $2.01 billion
  • Repetitive motion injuries - $1.97 billion
  • Assaults/workplace violence - $.59 billion

Liberty Mutual researchers arrived at these fascinating results by examining data on work injuries resulting in employees missing at least six days from work. This data, in turn, was provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the National Academy of Social Insurance, and Liberty Mutual's own claims department.

Stay tuned for further developments in the area of workers' compensation defense law ...

This post was provided for informational purposes only and is not to be construed as legal advice.


Risk & Insurance, "Liberty Mutual: Overexertion again tops list of costliest comp injuries" Feb. 2, 2012

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