Common Jobsite Incidents are Top Causes of Disabling Injuries

While there’s a risk for injury on any job, it’s always of concern for those in construction and labor-intensive positions, such as contract glazing. According to one insurance company, businesses across the country spend an average of $1 billion a week on serious, nonfatal workplace injuries.

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), from October 1, 2019, to September 30, 2020, the construction industry held three of the top five spots in its most frequently cited standards following its inspections of worksites. Likewise, the Center for Construction Research and Training reported that the number of fatal injuries in construction reached 1,102 in 2019, the highest level since before 2011.

Injuries that don’t result in fatalities can still have an impact on workers and businesses. Research has shown that even disabling, nonfatal injuries come with a high price tag for American employers. A report released this year with data collected in 2018 from Liberty Mutual Insurance, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and the National Academy of Social Insurance (NASI) lists the top causes of disabling injuries in Liberty Mutual’s Workplace Safety Index 2021. The annually developed index ranks the top 10 causes of serious, nonfatal workplace injuries, which caused employees to miss work for more than five days, by their direct costs to U.S. businesses. The 2021 index shows these injuries amounted to $58.61 billion in direct U.S. workers’ compensation costs, with 89.2% or $52.3 billion, coming from the top 10.

The report said the causes ranked six to 10 combined for 20.1% of the total direct cost of disabling injuries. These include vehicle crashes, slips or trips without falling, being struck or colliding with objects, and being caught in or compressed by equipment, among others.

Direct costs of all disabling work-related injuries equal $58.61 billion, with the top 10 causes comprising 89.2 percent.

Top 5 Injury Causes Based on Total Cost Burden

1 Overexertion involving outside sources; includes injuries related to lifting, pushing, pulling, holding, carrying or throwing objects: $13.30 billion

2 Falls on same level: $10.58 billion

3 Falls to a lower level: $6.26 billion

4 Struck by object or equipment: $5.61 billion

5 Other exertions or bodily reactions, including bending, reaching, twisting, climbing, crawling, kneeling, sitting, standing, walking and running: $4.71 billion

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