Workplace Violence Ranked as Third Highest Cause of Injury In Healthcare

F.J. Thomas

Sarasota, FL (WorkersCompensation.com) – According to statistics from OSHA, employers spend $1 billion per week on workers’ compensation expenses. Liberty Mutual researched the top 10 causes of injuries that caused employees to miss 5 or more days from work and published the results in the 2020 Liberty Mutual Workplace Safety Index (WSI) report. The insurance company reviewed data from the National Academy of Social Insurance and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, as well as claims data to create the report. Causes were then ranked by cost, which was derived from medical expenses as well as lost wages.

According to the WSI report, the annual total cost of debilitating injuries in work is $59.59 billion dollars. The cost of the top 10 most disabling injuries is $52.93 billion per year.

Liberty Mutual found that the top cause of severe injuries by cost was overexertion from handling objects. Overexertion accounted for $13.98 billion spent, which was 23.5 percent of the total annual workers’ compensation expenses.

Falls on the same level came in with the second highest cost, at $10.84 billion last year. They accounted for 18.2 percent of the total annual injury expenses.

Strikes by an object such as materials or vehicles came in at third. The total cost to employers from striking accidents was $6.12 billion, which was 10.3 percent of the total expenses.

The WSI report found that falls to a lower level came in fourth with $5.71 billion in costs, totaling 9.6 percent of the total costs spent.

When broken out by industry, the top causes of significant injury by cost changes, according to the WSI report. For instance, for the construction industry falls to a lower level were ranked the number one cause of disabling injuries by cost, accounting for $2.50 billion and 24.1 percent of construction costs for injuries. Strike injuries ranked second for construction at $1.70 billion spent, accounting for 16.7 percent of construction total costs. Overexertion came in third for construction with $1.48 billion in costs, accounting for 14.2 percent of the total cost.

For healthcare workers, overexertion ranked as the number one cause of significant injuries. Overexertion accounted for 30.1 percent of total healthcare expenses at $1.66 billion. Falls at the same level ranked number two with $1.56 billion spent and 28.3 percent of total healthcare costs. Workplace violence ranked third at $540 million in costs, accounting for 9.8 percent of total healthcare costs.

The WSI report is available on the Liberty Mutual website which also includes additional reports per industry.

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