Bureau of Labor Statistics Worker health and wellness

Overexertion tops causes of disabling work injuries: report

Reprints
box-lifting

Photo: Ian Palmer

Hopkinton, MA – “Overexertion involving outside sources” remains the leading cause of disabling injuries in the United States, according to the annual Liberty Mutual Workplace Safety Index, which ranks serious, nonfatal workplace injuries.

The category includes lifting, pushing, pulling and other actions involving objects, and cost U.S. businesses $15.08 billion in 2013, or almost 25 percent of total costs, the report states.

Overexertion also was the No. 1 cause listed in last year’s report.

Disabling work injuries amounted to $61.88 billion in workers’ compensation costs, and the top 10 causes totaled $51.06 billion (82.5 percent).

The other top injury causes and their related costs:

  • Falls on same level ($10.17 billion)
  • Falls to lower level ($5.4 billion)
  • Struck by equipment or object ($5.31 billion)
  • Other exertions or bodily reactions ($4.15 billion)
  • Motor vehicle incidents ($2.96 billion)
  • Slips or trips without falling ($2.35 billion)
  • Caught in or compressed by equipment or objects ($1.97 billion)
  • Struck against equipment or object ($1.85 billion)
  • Repetitive motions from “micro-tasks” ($1.82 billion)

Published by the Liberty Mutual Research Institute for Safety, the index is intended to help employers and other safety professionals pinpoint risks and make their worksites safer. Data was collected from Liberty Mutual, the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the National Academy of Social Insurance. Researchers examined BLS injury data based on which incidents resulted in employees missing at least six days of work.

Post a comment to this article

Safety+Health welcomes comments that promote respectful dialogue. Please stay on topic. Comments that contain personal attacks, profanity or abusive language – or those aggressively promoting products or services – will be removed. We reserve the right to determine which comments violate our comment policy. (Anonymous comments are welcome; merely skip the “name” field in the comment box. An email address is required but will not be included with your comment.)