Injury and illness costs up since 1992: study

Sacramento, CA – Occupational injuries and illnesses cost the country $250 billion in 2007, according to new research from the University of California, Davis. This represents a $33 billion increase (adjusted for inflation) since the last similar analysis in 1992.

Based on more than 40 data sets, the study estimated that 8,564,600 fatal and nonfatal work-related injuries occurred in 2007, which cost $192 billion; along with 516,100 fatal and nonfatal work-related illnesses totaling $58 billion.

In addition, approximately 59,102 combined deaths were caused by occupational injuries and diseases – more than motor vehicle crashes or breast cancer.

The high figures are not accounted for in workers’ compensation premiums, study author J. Paul Leigh said in a press release from NIOSH, which funded the study. Leigh recommended using injury and illness costs per business instead of industry-wide costs to determine workers’ comp premiums.

The study appeared in the December issue of the Milbank Quarterly.

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