The U.S. workplace is getting safer, but the cost of the most serious workplace injuries is rising, according to the findings of the most recent Liberty Mutual Workplace Safety Index.
The number of the most serious workplace injuries and illnesses fell by 1.5%, while their cost—medical and lost-wage payments totaling nearly $60 billion per year—increased by 2.9% between the 2017 and 2018 reports. The rank order of the top ten causes remained the same.
"The annual ranking helps employers, risk managers and safety professionals improve workplace safety by highlighting its financial impact and focusing resources on the leading causes of serious work-related injuries and illnesses," says James Merendino, general manager, Risk Control, National Insurance, Liberty Mutual.
"While overexertion continues to be the leading cause of serious workplace injuries, falls account for a growing proportion of losses.
"To effectively improve safety, each employer needs to understand the root causes of the most serious workplace injuries they experience and the ways to effectively mitigate these through training, equipment, and work design."
Study Methodology: The annual Liberty Mutual Workplace Safety Index is based on information from Liberty Mutual, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), and the National Academy of Social Insurance. Liberty Mutual and BLS injury data are analyzed to determine which events caused employees to miss six or more days of work. The Index then ranks those events by total workers' compensation costs, which include medical and lost-wage payments. To capture accurate injury cost data, each Index is based on data three years prior. Accordingly, the 2018 Index reflects 2015 data.