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Study explores impact of injuries on employers

Researchers from a variety of renowned institutions recently released a study examining the persistent injury threats to Americans, and ranking the individual states regarding their efforts to reduce these injury threats.

While this study is certainly interesting on its face, what does it have to do with employers?

According to the authors, it has everything to do with employers. Injuries, no matter the cause, ultimately result in decreased productivity, increased insurance premiums and steep work comp costs.

In fact, the researchers determined that U.S. businesses lose an average of $326 billion in productivity a year due to injuries, and that adults between the ages of 25 and 44, who comprise a majority of the U.S. workforce, account for 44 percent of all productivity losses caused by injury.

The study, entitled "The Facts Hurt: A State-by-State Injury Prevention Policy Report," also identified several injury threats that should be of particular concern to employers. These include motor vehicle accidents (responsible for $75 billion in lost productivity), falls (responsible for $54 billion in lost productivity) and so-called struck by/against accidents (responsible for $37 billion in lost productivity).

As previously mentioned, the authors also assigned the individual states a ranking based on their respective injury prevention efforts in 10 different categories, including whether the state has a primary seat belt law, a mandatory helmet law or a prescription drug monitoring program in place.

Somewhat surprisingly, California and New York earned a first place ranking, while Ohio and Montana came in last.

"Millions of injuries could be prevented each year if more states adopted additional research-based prevention policies and if programs were fully implemented and enforced," reads the report.

Certainly this same argument could also be applied to the workforce, meaning employers could drastically reduce their productivity losses by taking the time to identify potential hazards and implement the necessary prevention programs.

Stay tuned for more from our workers' compensation defense blog ...

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


Risk & Insurance, "Implementing, enforcing policies can improve bottom line, study suggests," July 2, 2012

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