$1 Billion a Week Spent on Serious but NonFatal Injuries in U.S. Workplaces

January 13, 2017

Each year, the Research Institute produces the Liberty Mutual Workplace Safety Index, which ranks the leading causes of serious, nonfatal work-related injuries in terms of direct workers compensation costs. The Index is based on information from Liberty Mutual Insurance, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and the National Academy of Social Insurance.

Every year, Liberty Mutual Insurance works with the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and the National Academy of Social Insurance to develop their annual Liberty Mutual Workplace Safety Index that tallies what serious on-the-job injuries cost businesses directly. The index also lists the top 10 leading causes of serious workplace injuries, all of which are found on construction jobsites.

This year's Liberty Mutual index reveals that the direct cost of all disabling work-related injuries added up to $59.87 billion - more than $1 billion a week - in 2014, the last year data was available.

If you count just the top 10 causes of injury, the cost in 2014 was a shade less at $49.92 billion.

In 2014, falls, overexertion and being struck or crushed were the greatest hazards and most costly. In dollars and sense, these are the index's figures:

  • Fall-related incidents made up 30.7 percent of disabling injuries, costing $49.12 billion dollars.
  • Overexertion such as injuries like lifting, pushing, pulling, holding and carrying made up 23 percent of disabling injuries and cost $13.79 billion.
  • Incidents that involved the working being struck by or compressed against an object or equipment totaled 20.1 percent of serious injuries and cost $12.02 billion.

Keep in mind, Liberty's index does not include the cost of a workplace injury that results in death.

Bottom line, the majority of non-fatal injury causes can be addressed by using proper safety gear at all times and following prescribed safety procedures.

Remember, a workplace injury doesn't need to be fatal to be life-altering. Take care of yourself and your co-workers.

*Scientific Methodology

The Liberty Mutual Workplace Safety Index is developed based on information from Liberty Mutual, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and the National Academy of Social Insurance. Liberty Mutual researchers examine BLS injury data to determine which events caused employees to miss six or more days of work and then rank those events by total workers compensation costs. Source: Liberty Mutual Research Institute for Safety.

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