$59.58 billion. Looks like a lot of money, right? That’s because it is. That number, the direct cost of the top ten leading causes of the most disabling injuries in the United States, exceeds the gross domestic product of 102 countries in the world.

These top ten injuries, preventable, common, and costly, make up 83% of all injuries in the United States, according to the Liberty Mutual Workplace Safety Index 2014, which compares injuries based on the direct U.S. workers compensation costs of an injury.

Related: Most Frequently Cited OSHA Violations [Infographic]
Using Bureau of Labor Statistics injury and illness classification system, Liberty Mutual displayed this graph to highlight the top ten injuries in the workplace, based on direct cost.

Costliest Injuries in the Workplace

Top 10: Costliest Injuries

Overexertion Involving Outside Sources (OIICS Event or Exposure Major Code 71)

Overexertion involving outside sources applies to cases, usually non-impact, in which the injury or illness resulted from excessive physical effort directed at an outside source of injury or illness.

The physical effort may involve lifting, pulling, pushing, turning, wielding, holding, carrying, or throwing the source of injury or illness. The injury can be from a single episode or from repetitive exertions involving outside sources, such as repetitive lifting. Typically, if the injury results from an object or person being carried or lifted, the event is overexertion involving an outside source.

Incidents in 2013: 129,220

Incidence Rate: 12.2 per 10,000 workers

Median Days Away from Work: 10

Percentage of Cost: 25.3%

Total Direct Cost of Injury: $15.1 billion

Falls on the Same Level (OIICS Event or Exposure Major Code 42)

Fall on same level applies to instances in which the injury was produced by impact between the injured person and another surface without elevation, the motion producing the contact being that of the person.

Incidents in 2013: 185,230

Incidence Rate: 17.4

Median Days Away from Work: 10

Percentage of Cost: 15.4%

Total Direct Cost of Injury: $9.19 billion

Struck by Object or Equipment (OIICS Event or Exposure Major Code 62)

The “struck by” codes apply to injuries produced by forcible contact or impact between the injured person and the source of injury when the motion producing the contact is primarily that of the source of injury rather than the person.

Incidents in 2013: 153,390

Incidence Rate: 14.4

Median Days Away from Work: 5

Percentage of Cost: 8.9%

Total Direct Cost of Injury: $5.3 billion

Falls to Lower Level (OIICS Event or Exposure Major Code 43)

Fall to lower level applies to instances in which the injury was produced by impact between the injured person and the source of injury, the motion producing the contact being that of the person, under the following circumstances:

  • The motion of the person and the force of impact were generated by gravity
  • The point of contact with the source of injury was lower than the surface supporting the person at the inception of the fall.

Incidents in 2013: 57,020

Incidence Rate: 5.4

Median Days Away from Work: 20

Percentage of Cost: 8.6%

Total Direct Cost of Injury: $5.12 billion

Other Exertions or Bodily Reactions (OIICS Event or Exposure Major Code 73)

Codes in this major group apply to injuries or illnesses generally resulting from a single or prolonged instance of free bodily motion, which imposed stress or strain upon some part of the body. This category also includes the assumption of an unnatural position for a prolonged period of time.

Generally, codes in this major group apply to the occurrence of strains, sprains, ruptures, nerve damage, stress fractures, or other injuries or illnesses resulting from the assumption of an unnatural position or from voluntary or involuntary motions induced by sudden noise or fright.

This category also includes injuries and illnesses resulting from prolonged sitting, standing, or viewing. This major group includes cases involving musculoskeletal or other injury or illnesses resulting from the execution of personal movements such as walking, climbing, or bending when such movement in itself was the source of injury or illness. Eyestrain from sustained viewing is classified in 7391.

Incidents in 2013: 241,820 (Overexertion numbers excluding lifting and lowering (71) and repetitive motions (72))

Incidence Rate: 22.8

Percentage of Cost: 7.2%

Total Direct Cost of Injury: $4.27 billion

Roadway Incidents Involving Motorized Vehicle (OIICS Major Category 26)

Roadway incidents include injuries to vehicle occupants occurring on that part of the public highway, street, or road normally used for travel as well as the shoulder and surrounding areas, telephone poles, bridge abutments, trees aligning roadway, etc.

Incidents that occur partly on a public roadway are considered roadway incidents. For example, if a passenger in a vehicle driven on a public street is injured when the vehicle runs off the roadway and crashes into a storefront, the event is considered a roadway incident.

Incidents in 2013: 43,580

Incidence Rate: 4.1

Median Days Away from Work: 9

Percentage of Cost: 5.3%

Total Direct Cost of Injury: $3.18 billion

Slip or Trip without Fall (OIICS Major Code 41)

Injuries that occur when a person catches himself or herself from falling due to a slip or trip are coded here. Slips and trips resulting in falls are coded in 42* or 43*.

Incidents in 2013: 46,590

Incidence Rate: 4.4

Median Days Away from Work: 11

Percentage of Cost: 3.6%

Total Direct Cost of Injury: $2.17 billion

Caught in/Compressed by Equipment or Objects (OIICS Major Code 64)

Codes in this major group apply when a person, or part of a person’s body was squeezed, pinched, compressed, or crushed in operating equipment, between other meshing or shifting objects, between two stationary objects, or in wire or rope.

This group also includes cases in which a person is injured from trying to free oneself after being caught in an object or machine. Injuries occurring when the injured part of body is inside a machine or equipment, or between two or more parts of the source of injury should be included here.

Incidents in 2013: 36,870

Incidence Rate: 3.5

Median Days Away from Work: 10

Percentage of Cost: 3.5%

Total Direct Cost of Injury: $2.1 billion

Repetitive Motions Involving Micro-Tasks (OIICS Major Code 72)

This category applies when motion imposes stress or strain on some part of the body due to the repetitive nature of the task. Typically, there is no strenuous effort, such as heavy lifting, imposed against an outside object, as in 71*, Overexertion involving outside sources.

Repetitive use of hands, not involving tools (724) includes repetitive motion while signing (sign language). If the source document indicates an injury from “clerical activities,” use code 720. Source code 562, Bodily motion or position of injured, ill worker must be used when using an Event code from this category.

Incidents in 2013: 29,050

Incidence Rate: 2.7

Median Days Away from Work: 21

Percentage of Cost: 3.1%

Total Direct Cost of Injury: $1.84 billion

Struck Against Object or Equipment (OIICS Major Code 63)

The “struck against” codes apply to injuries produced by forcible contact or impact between the injured person and the source of injury when the motion producing the contact is primarily that of the injured person.

This major group includes bumping into objects, stepping on objects, kicking objects, and being pushed or thrown into or against objects. Code 6329 includes cases in which the worker strikes repeatedly against an object, such as when using a carpet kicker.

Incidents in 2013: 62,510

Incidence Rate: 5.9

Median Days Away from Work: 5

Percentage of Cost: 2.9%

Total Direct Cost of Injury: $1.76 billion

Sources:

Fatalities As a Result of Ten Costliest Injuries

All of the preceding were costs and percentage of costs for nonfatal occupational injuries resulting in days away from work. Take into this fatality data, and the story gets bigger:

Related: Interactive Global Fatality Map

  • Overexertion Involving Outside Sources: 7
  • Falls on the Same Level: 110
  • Struck By Object or Equipment: 509
  • Falls to Lower Level: 595
  • Other Exertions or Bodily Reactions: 7
  • Roadway Incidents Involving Motor Vehicle: 1,099
  • Slip or Trip without Fall: 6
  • Caught in/Compressed by Equipment or Objects: 131
  • Repetitive Motions Involving Micro-Tasks: 0
  • Struck Against Object or Equipment: 3

Source: Event or exposure by major private industry division, 2013

Related: Forklift Safety Facts, Statistics, and Tips [Infographic]

Reporting, Safety, and An Effective Safety Management System

No matter the incident, the danger, or the cost, having an effective safety management system is pivotal for employers.

An effective safety management system will help you to recognize and prevent injuries before they happen, report them if they do, and provide enhanced productivity, engagement, and profitability to your organization.

We will start by helping you realize gaps in your current safety management program using our unique SMS assessment, providing you a full Safety Snapshot™ of 30 potential areas for improvement.

From here, we will instruct you on the steps to improving safety in your organization using toolbox talks and additional training that engages workers to reduce unsafe behaviors in the workplace.

Related: A Brief Introduction to Experience Modifier Rate

Finally, we offer to you the Optimum Incident Response System, a compliant reporting tool so that you can quickly report an incident or near miss.

Contact us today for more information. If you need immediate help, call our Safety Helpline at 1-888-SAFE-T (1-888-707-2338).

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