Workplace injuries cost U.S. employers $62 billion per year

Workplace injuries cost U.S. employers $62 billion per year

The Liberty Mutual Research Institute for Safety has released its 2016 Liberty Mutual Workplace Safety Index showing that workplace injuries and accidents that cause workers to miss six or more days of work cost employers in the United States almost $62 billion in 2013, the most recent year for which statistically valid injury data is available from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and the National Academy of Social Insurance.

According to the report, the top 10 leading causes of the most disabling work-related injuries account for more than $51 billion, or 82.5 percent of the total cost of $62 billion.

Overexertion ranked as the number one cause of disabling injuries among workers in the U.S. costing businesses $15.08 billion (Read WorkSafeDocs OHS News report here), followed by falls on the same level at $10.17 billion.

“We rank the top 10 causes of the most serious, nonfatal workplace injuries by their direct costs each year to help companies improve safety, which better protects both employees and the bottom-line,” said Debbie Michel, general manager of Liberty Mutual’s National Insurance Casualty operation.

“Workplace accidents impact employees’ physical, emotional and financial wellbeing. They also financially burden employers, who pay all of the medical costs related to a workplace injury, together with some portion of an injured employee’s pay. Beside these direct costs, workplace injuries also produce such indirect costs for employers as hiring temporary employees, lost productivity, quality disruptions and damage to a company’s employee engagement and external reputation.”

The safety index examines BLS data to identify which events caused workers to miss significant number of days of work, and rank those events by total workers compensation costs.

“By highlighting the direct costs of the most serious workplace accidents, the annual Liberty Mutual Workplace Safety Index informs the national agenda on workplace safety,” said Dr Ian Noy, Director of Liberty Mutual Research Institute for Safety.

“It also provides a key tool for individual companies to benchmark safety performance, and focus improvement efforts and resources on the most pressing areas.”