Wolf, Baldwin & Associates, P.C.

Work-related injuries cost billions each year

If you get hurt at work, you know that you can file for workers' compensation to cover your medical costs and other financial losses. However, you're not the only person affected by your injuries; your family and even the economy are affected long-term.

In a recent U.S. study, it was shown that work-related injuries cost the USA around $250 billion each year. These injuries could be avoided in many cases if employers placed greater emphasis on safety in the workplace along with the prevention of illnesses. The costs of work-related injuries have increased by over $33 billion between 1992 and 2007, showing that they are likely to keep increasing if there are no steps taken to prevent that from happening.

Some of the most common occupational injuries and illnesses include things like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and forms of cancer that are caused by hazardous working conditions. The study, which was completed in 2007, states that in that year, there were 8,564,600 work-related injuries, both fatal and not. These injuries cost $192 billion. On top of those, another 516,100 fatal and non-fatal work-related illnesses took place that year, costing $58 billion in lost wages and revenue, among other financial factors.

According to the study's researcher, the workers' compensation program doesn't account for the figures and pays for less than 25 percent of these injuries or illnesses. The study itself, funded by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, has pointed out the necessity for employers to place more attention to safety to have a major impact on the economy.

Source: Occupational Health and Safety Online, "U.S. Work-Related Injuries, Illnesses Cost $250 Billion Annually: Study," accessed March 22, 2016

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