Wolf, Baldwin & Associates, P.C.

The good and bad news about workplace safety

The Liberty Mutual 2018 Workplace Safety Index provides a list of the most common claims it sees for injuries, but there is also some big picture information that is worth looking at as well. According to the insurance carrier, the good news from 2018 was that workplaces are slightly safer with a 1.5 percent overall reduction in serious accidents. This is tempered by some bad news, which is that the cost of serious injuries continues to rise. This year there was a 3 percent rise in cost to businesses, which added up to a total of $58 billion.

The top 10

Some of these entries are to be expected, but some may be surprised that overexertion tops the list:

  1. Overexertion: This involves working with an outside source to lift, move, carry, hold or throw. The cost is $13.7 billion.
  2. Falls from the same level: These sorts of slip, trip and fall injuries usually involve a wet floor. The cost is $11.2 billion.
  3. Falls from a higher level: Falls from a ladder or platform often lead to serious injury. The cost is $5.9 billion.
  4. Struck by equipment or object: These generally involve objects falling from above, often at construction sites but elsewhere as well. The cost is $5.3 billion.
  5. Other exertions or bodily reactions: These injuries result from bending, twisting, reacting or even walking. The cost is $4.2 billion.
  6. Roadway accidents: These incidents involve motor vehicles like trucks and cars. The cost is $3.2 billion.
  7. Slips or trips: Unlike number two, this does not include falling but often occurs when employees fight to avoid potential injury. The cost is $2.3 billion.
  8. Caught or compressed by equipment: This often involves operating equipment where there are rollers or gears. The cost is $2.1 billion.
  9. Struck against an object or equipment: This often involves walking into a door or open drawer. The cost is $2 billion.
  10. Repetitive motions: This involves repeated motions while working on a line, typing at a desk or some other micro task. The cost is $1.5 billion.

Knowledge is power

Understanding risks and dangers are the first steps to a safer workplace. However, injuries are an unfortunate part of life. Those injured in the workplace should first seek medical attention and notify their employer. Guidance from an attorney with significant workers' compensation experience here in Southeastern Pennsylvania can be beneficial both to the injured workers who file a claim and also to their families as well.

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