Workplace injuries and accidents that cause employees to miss six or more days of work cost U.S. employers $59.9 billion in 2014, the most recent year for which statistically valid injury data are available from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and the National Academy of Social Insurance, according to the 2017 Liberty Mutual Insurance Workplace Safety Index
The 10 leading causes of the most disabling work-related injuries account for $49.9 billion, or 83.4 percent of the total cost of $59.9 billion. The top three causes – which collectively represent almost half of the cost of the leading accidents – are overexertion ($13.8 billion, 23 percent), falls on same level ($10.6 billion, 17.7 percent) and falls to lower level ($5.5 billion, 9.2 percent).
“Each year, we rank the top 10 causes of the most serious, nonfatal workplace injuries by their direct costs to help companies better protect employees and the bottom-line,” notes Debbie Michel, who leads the area of Liberty Mutual that provides workers compensation and other insurance coverages to mid-sized and large companies through brokers and agents.
“Workplace injuries impact both employees and employers. Injured employees face potential physical, emotional and financial harm. Employers face the direct costs of workplace injuries – medical care related to the accident and some portion of an injured employee’s pay – and the indirect costs, including hiring temporary employees, lost productivity, and quality disruptions.”
While the ranking of the top causes of the most serious workplace accidents remained the same in the 2017 Liberty Mutual Workplace Safety Index as in the 2016 report, the latest index shows:
- The total cost of all disabling workplace injuries fell to $59.9 billion in 2017, from $61.9 billion in 2016
- The share of the top 10 causes of serious workplace accidents in the cost of all disabling workplace accidents grew in 2017 to 83.4 percent, from 82.5 percent in 2016
- Falls on same level and roadway incidents continued to trend upward, and overexertion decreased substantially
“The goal of the Liberty Mutual Workplace Safety Index is to inform the national agenda on workplace safety by highlighting the direct costs of the most serious workplace accidents,” notes Dr. Ian Noy, Director, Liberty Mutual Research Institute for Safety. “Now in its 17th year, the study helps companies focus improvement efforts and resources on the most important areas.”
The Liberty Mutual Workplace Safety Index is compiled based on information from Liberty Mutual, the 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.
About the Liberty Mutual Research Institute for Safety
For over 60 years the Liberty Mutual Research Institute for Safety has been conducting academic, peer-reviewed research that advances the field of safety and health. The Institute aims to determine the causes of accidents and injuries, identify appropriate interventions to help reduce the incidents of injuries and minimize disability. More information on the Institute can be seen at https://www.libertymutualgroup.com/about-lm/research-institute/research-institute
About Liberty Mutual Insurance
Liberty Mutual Insurance helps people preserve and protect what they earn, build, own and cherish. Keeping this promise means we are there when our policyholders throughout the world need us most.
In business since 1912, and headquartered in Boston, Mass., today Liberty Mutual is a diversified insurer with operations in 29 countries and economies around the world. We are the fifth largest property and casualty insurer in the U.S. based on 2015 direct written premium data as reported by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. We also rank 73rd on the Fortune 100 list of largest corporations in the U.S. based on 2015 revenue. As of December 31, 2015, Liberty Mutual had $37.6 billion in annual consolidated revenue.
Liberty employs more than 50,000 people in over 800 offices throughout the world. We offer a wide range of insurance products and services, including personal automobile, homeowners, accident & health, commercial automobile, general liability, property, surety, workers compensation, group disability, group life, specialty lines, reinsurance, individual life and annuity products.