Liberty Mutual: Overexertion again tops list of costliest comp injuries
Overexertion -- injuries caused by lifting, pushing, pulling, holding, carrying, or throwing -- cost businesses nearly $13 billion in 2009. It was the top ranked injury category in the latest Liberty Mutual Workplace Safety Index.
Using information on injuries that cause the employee to miss at least six days from work, the Liberty Mutual Research Institute for Safety developed its annual list of the most disabling workplace injuries and illnesses. The information was developed from the insurer's workers' comp claims along with data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and the National Academy of Social Insurance.
The top five cost employers $50.1 billion in direct workers' comp costs -- a decrease of 6.5 percent from the previous year and a reduction of 4.6 percent between 1998 and 2009 after adjusting for inflation.
The top five injuries accounted for 71.7 percent of the total 2009 cost burden while the top 10 comprised 89.3 percent, according to the index. Ranked in order after overexertion the injuries and their direct workers' comp costs were:
- Fall on the same level: $7.94 billion.
- Fall to lower level: $5.35 billion.
- Bodily reaction (injuries such as bending, climbing, reaching, standing, sitting, and slipping or tripping without falling): $5.28 billion.
- Struck by object: $4.64 billion.
- Highway incident: $2.18 billion.
- Caught in/compressed by (injuries resulting from workers being caught in or compressed by equipment or objects): $2.04 billion.
- Struck against object: $2.01 billion.
- Repetitive motion: $1.97 billion.
- Assault/violent act: $0.59 billion.
While the overall costs of disabling workplace injuries decreased from 1998 to 2009, five types of injuries saw costs increase; fall on same level, fall to lower level, bodily reaction, struck by object, and assault/violent act.
Read more at the WorkersComp Forum homepage.
February 2, 2012
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