Overall, the top three injury cases were responsible for 51% of the direct costs in 2000, up from 48% in 1998. Further, the top 10 injury cases accounted for 89% of the total direct costs in 2000, up from 86% just two years prior, according to Liberty Mutual’s Workplace Safety Index.
The study found the top 10 leading causes, and the percentage of associated direct costs, of workplace injuries, to be:
- overexertion – 28.0%
- falls on the same level – 12.8%
- bodily reaction (injuries caused by bending, climbing, etc., without falling) – 10.4%
- falls to lower level – 8.5%
- being struck by an object – 8.3%
- repetitive motion – 6.5%
- highway incidents – 5.4%
- being caught in or compressed by equipment – 4.2%
- being struck against an object – 4.1%
- assaults and violent acts – 1.1%
Additionally, the direct costs of the three leading causes grew at rates substantially higher than inflation. Leading all categories is falls from the same level, growing 17%; followed by bodily reaction, up 13%; and overexertion, 12% higher. All numbers are net of inflation adjustments.
Of the total $42.5 billion price tag associated with work-related injuries, a staggering $11.9 billion is concentrated in overexertion. Falls on the same level accounted for $5.4 billion and bodily reaction $4.4 billion.
A complete copy of the study can be found at www.libertymutual.com under “Latest Liberty Mutual Workplace Safety Index.”