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Overexertion tops list of disabling work injuries for third straight year: report

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Photo: Liberty Mutual Research Institute for Safety

Hopkinton, MA – “Overexertion involving outside sources” was the leading cause of disabling injuries in the United States in 2014 for the third consecutive year, according to the Liberty Mutual Workplace Safety Index, an annual ranking of serious, nonfatal workplace injuries based on direct workers’ compensation costs.

The overexertion category includes lifting, pushing, pulling and other actions involving objects. Related injuries cost U.S. businesses $13.79 billion in 2014, the report states.

Other injury causes and their related costs were:

  • Falls on same level ($10.62 billion)
  • Falls to lower level ($5.50 billion)
  • Struck by object or equipment ($4.43 billion)
  • Other exertions or bodily reactions ($3.89 billion)
  • Roadway incidents involving motorized land vehicle ($3.70 billion)
  • Slip or trip without falling ($2.30 billion)
  • Caught in or compressed by equipment or objects ($1.95 billion)
  • Struck against equipment or object ($1.94 billion)
  • Repetitive motions involving micro-tasks ($1.81 billion)

Overall, disabling work injuries resulted in $59.87 billion in workers’ compensation costs in 2014, with the top 10 causes totaling $49.92 billion.

Researchers used data from Liberty Mutual, the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the National Academy of Social Insurance to compile the safety index.

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