Magazine article Occupational Hazards

Steep Price Tag for Workplace Injuries

Magazine article Occupational Hazards

Steep Price Tag for Workplace Injuries

Article excerpt

The sixth annual Liberty Mutual Workplace Safety Index presents a good news/bad news scenario for safety professionals and their employers: While the number of serious workplace injuries declined in 2003, their impact on the company bottom line was huge.

Employers spent $50.8 billion in 2003 on wage payments and medical care for workers hurt on the job, according to the Workplace Safety Index, which is produced by the Liberty Mutual Research Institute for Safety.

As for the good news, the number of serious workplace accidents fell 6.2 percent in 2003, almost half the total 13.5 percent decline over the last 5 years.

Meanwhile, the rate of growth in the cost of these injuries slowed to 0.7 percent in 2003, compared to 6.5 percent in 2002, after adjusting for inflation.

The leading cause of serious workplace injuries was overexertion from excessive lifting, pushing, pulling, holding, carrying or throwing of an object.

The top 10 leading causes of workplaces injuries in 2003--and their associated costs--were:

1. Overexertion, $13.4 billion

2. Falls on the same level, $6.9 billion

3. …

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