The 2014 Workplace Safety Index by Liberty Mutual Research Institute for Safety ranks the top ten causes for serious and nonfatal workplace injuries across the country. The information is gathered by analyzing data from workplace compensation claims, the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and the National Academy of Social Insurance.
The newest iteration of the report analyzes the most recent information, which is from 2012, for injuries that lasted six or more days. The top ten leading causes and direct costs of the most disabling workplace injuries are as follows:
- Falls on the same level
- Struck by an object or equipment
- Falls to a lower level
- Other bodily reactions
- Roadway incidents involving a motorized vehicle
- Slipping or tripping without falling
- Getting caught or compressed between equipment or objects
- Repetitive motions
- Being struck against an object or equipment
Overexertion and Other Causes
Overexertion unsurprisingly is at the top of the list for serious non-fatal workplace injuries. This category includes injuries related to carrying, pulling, holding, lifting, pushing, or throwing. For example, it would involve a medical professional lifting a patient from a stretcher or pushing farm equipment onto the fields. The number of claims in this category must be staggering as it made up more than 25 percent of injuries and cost $15.1 billion. Falling (on the same level) came in second with 15.4 percent of injuries and costing $9.19 billion. Overall, the top five causes of nonfatal serious workplace injuries accounted for a total 65.4 percent of injuries in 2012 and almost $39 billion dollars.
Considering the mounting costs of workplace injuries, logically one would assume employers would look to make the workplace safer and leave employees better equipped or trained. Instead, employers in a variety of industries are looking to cut costs in any way they can. This compromises workplace safety and in turn impedes an injured worker from receiving the just compensation they deserve. In the interest of courting to big business, states such as Texas have allowed employers to completely forgo workers’ compensation insurance and also do not regulate the private occupational insurance an employer may instead carry. As a result, over half a million workers have been injured or killed only to find out they are not covered by workers’ compensation insurance. Furthermore, an increasing number of employers are denying workers’ compensation claims, which leaves families reeling from the loss of wages and mounting medical bills.
Speak with an Experienced Attorney
The complexities of workers’ compensation laws in North Carolina makes it incredibly important that you hire an experienced attorney who can walk you through the worker’s compensation claims process.