Topping the list of most expensive workplace injuries for many years running handling objects (including overexertion and repetitive actions) cost employers almost $21 billion in workers compensation direct costs last year according to a recent analysis. Coming in a distant second were falls (same and lower level) at $16.5 billion, followed by being struck or caught in equipment (including vehicle accidents) at $13.6 billion.
According to the 2020 Liberty Mutual Workplace Safety Index, the ten most costly causes of workplace injuries and illnesses are:
|Injury Cause:||Cost (billions):||Percentage:|
|Handling objects (e.g., heavy boxes)||$13.98||23.5%|
|Falls on same level||$10.84||18.2%|
|Struck by object or equipment||$6.12||10.3%|
|Falls to lower level||$5.71||9.6%|
|Awkward postures (over-exertions)||$4.69||7.9%|
|Slip or trip without a fall||$2.06||3.5%|
|Repetitive motions involving microtasks||$2.05||3.4%|
|Colliding with objects||$2.00||3.4%|
|Running equipment or machines||$1.92||3.2%|
|Cost of the top 10 most disabling workplace injuries||$52.93||88.82%|
|Total cost of the most disabling workplace injuries||$59.59||100%|
The total cost of combined object handling injuries in the workplace rose from $18.4 billion in 2019, for an increase of more than 14% in the past year. The report doesn’t provide a breakdown of specific cost factors, although it is likely that total costs rose due to a combination of higher number of claims made as well as higher healthcare/compensation costs incurred during the year.