And the Winner Is…..Overexertion

With the Golden Globes, the Oscars and all the other awards that are given out this time of year, here’s one nobody wants to win – Most expensive worker injuries.

Every year, the Liberty Mutual Research Institute For Safety announces the Workplace Safety Index, which looks at the top 10 most expensive workplace injuries.   Once again the award for the injury catagory that costs american business the most goes to…(envelope please)… Overexertion involving outside sources, which is defined as “injuries related to lifting, pushing, pulling, holding, carrying or throwing objects.”

According to the Institute, those kinds of skeletomuscular injuries cost companies a total of $13.79 billion during the analysis period of 2015 and amounted to 23.0% of the total business cost for all workplace injuries.

In total, workplace injuries cost about $60 billion a year, but the top 10 account for nearly $50 billion of that total.

Here is the full top 10 list with the percentage of the total workplace injury cost and dollar amount:

  1. Overexertion involving an outside source  – 23.0%, $13.79 billion
  2. Falls on the same level – 17.7%,  $10.62 billion
  3. Falls to a lower level – 9.2%,  $5.50 billion
  4. Being struck by an object or equipment – 7.4%, $4.43 billion
  5. Other exertions or body reactions – 6.5%, $3.89 billion
  6. Roadway incidents involving a motorized land vehicle 6.2%, $3.70 billion
  7. Slipping or tripping without a fall – 3.8%, $2.30 billion
  8. Being caught in/compressed by equipment or objects – 3.3%, $1.95 billion
  9. Being struck against an object or equipment – 3.2%, $1.94 billion
  10. Repetitive motions involving micro-tasks – 3.0%, $1.81 billion

The only positive to this whole picture is that workplace injury costs have not gone up as a dramatically as other medical care costs.  The cost of all workplace injuries in 2008 was about $53.42 billion.  The cost in 2015 (the year used in the 2017 survey) was nearly $60 billion, about 10% in eight years, versus overall U.S. healthcare costs, which are going up by about 6.5% a year.

The depressing news is that the ranking of the top 10 hasn’t changed much and the costs are not going down.  One area to keep an eye on is roadway accidents, which appears to be growing as a percentage, mirroring the increase in vehicular injuries and fatalities occurring in OSHA statistics.

Want to be a hero in your company?  Let Lifeline Strategies help you develop a plan to reduce skeletal muscle injuries, like bad backs and knees, and falls at your place of work.  Those are the injuries that are costing companies money and focused attention on those areas can produce big results on the bottom line.  Contact us at or by calling Ken Wells at (985) 789-0577.


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