Businesses and workers’ compensation insurers – and workers like you too – don’t want anything to happen while you’re on-the-job. Everyone prefers the workday to move seamlessly with no injuries.
To mitigate these risks and identify potential hazards, businesses and workers’ compensation insurers use data to see what the common causes of workplace injuries are. From this data, they can identify potential hazards depending on the type of work their employees do.
Liberty Mutual produces such an index that breaks down workplace injuries in the U.S. by cause and estimates the total cost of treating injuries and paying benefits they’re obligated to provide.
Costs are separated into two categories – direct and indirect.
Direct costs consist of treatment and benefits…businesses absorb only a portion of these costs.
Indirect costs on the other hand consist of lost productivity and the cost of finding temporary workers to replace the injured.
In 2001, the direct cost of workplace injuries was around $47 billion but the indirect cost estimate – which is just an estimate since it’s impossible to know exactly – came in at around $240 billion.
Here’s a table from Liberty Mutual outlining the causes and direct cost of workplace injuries. Companies like yours use this data to focus prevention efforts.
Direct Costs of Injury on the Job
|RANK||INJURY CAUSE||PERCENTAGE OF TOTAL DIRECT COSTS||ESTIMATED DIRECT COST NATIONWIDE|
|2||FALL ON SAME LEVEL||11.5%||$4.6 BILLION|
|3||BODILY REACTION (E.G., BENDING, CLIMBING)||9.4%||$3.8 BILLION|
|4||FALL TO LOWER LEVEL||9.2%||$3.7 BILLION|
|5||STRUCK BY OBJECT||8.5%||$3.4 BILLION|
|6||REPETITIVE MOTION||6.7%||$2.7 BILLION|
|7||HIGHWAY ACCIDENTS||5.9%||$2.4 BILLION|
|8||STRUCK AGAINST OBJECT||4.3%||$1.7 BILLION|
|9||CAUGHT IN OR COMPRESSED BY EQUIPMENT||4.1%||$1.6 BILLION|
|10||CONTACT WITH EXTREME TEMPERATURE||1.0%||$400 MILLION|
|source: Liberty Mutual 2002 Workplace Safety Index|
Workers also benefit from this information since it can be used to help prevent future injuries. No one wants a workplace injury to occur…the pain and hassle isn’t worth the trouble.
But accidents do sometimes happen so you need to be sure you receive all of the proper medical, wage loss and permanent disability benefits you’re entitled to. Working with an experienced Colorado workers’ compensation attorney helps you do just that.