A new survey by the Liberty Mutual Research Institute for Safety found the top 10 causes of workplace injuries. The research institute examined data for injuries lasting six or more days, and ranked the injuries by total workers’ compensation costs. The institute looked at data from 2012.
The biggest two causes of workplace injuries are overexertion and falls on the same level. Overexertion accounted for 25.3 percent of workers’ compensation costs, or $15.1 billion. Overexertion was typically related to lifting, pushing, pulling, carrying, holding, or throwing. Falls on the same level accounted for 15.4 percent of workers’ compensation costs, or $9.19 billion.
The other causes of workplace injuries that made the list include: Being struck by an object or equipment (8.9%), Falling to a lower level (8.6%), Other exertions (7.2%), Roadway incidents involving vehicles (5.3%), Slips or trips without a fall (3.6%), Being caught in or compressed by equipment (3.5%), Repetitive motions involving micro-tasks (3.1%), and Being struck against an object or equipment (2.9%).
The good news is that worker deaths in the U.S. are down. In 1970, there were 38 worker deaths per day on average. In 2012, there were only 12 deaths a day on average. In addition, occupational illness and injury rates have also gone down 67 percent during that same time period. Between 1970 and 2012, U.S. employment almost doubled.
If you are injured on the job, you are entitled to compensation. In most cases, you will be limited to workers’ compensation for your injuries. In some instances, however, you may be able to sue your employer or others.