New figures from the National Safety Council (NSC) indicate 1 worker is injured every 7 seconds in the U.S. Each day, that adds up to 12,900 injured workers and 4.7 million every year.
The report shows that younger workers and those who are new to the job are at the greatest risk of injury.
Another recent study, Travelers’ Insurance “Injury Impact Report” revealed more than 25 percent of all workplace injuries happen in the very first year of employment. The Travelers’ report analyzes five years worth of workers’ compensation claims – 1.5 million in all – in hopes of determining how and why workplace injuries in the U.S. occur. The study also wanted to look at how much they cost.
Travelers’ Insurance is one of the biggest workers’ compensation insurers in the country.
The researchers with Travelers found that the No. 1 cause of accidents was: Material handling. That means things like carrying, lowering, lifting and turning. In most cases, this resulted in inflammation, bruises, strains, sprains and fractures. These instances alone accounted for one-third of all workers’ compensation claims.
Second to that were the trips, slips and falls. These accounted for 16 percent of all workers’ compensation claims made to Travelers. Next on the list were the struck-by/ collided with object, which accounted for 10 percent of all claims. Accidents that involved tools accounted for 7 percent of claims and cumulative trauma, which involves overuse or strain over time, accounted for 4 percent of all claims. One-third were deemed “all other.”
When it came to business size, those firms that were larger tended to have slightly higher rates of material handling injuries while smaller companies tended to have more slips, trips and falls. But overall, the rates were generally the same.
In terms of industries, we all know some industries are more dangerous than others. And the study authors pointed out that certain injuries are more common in some industries than others. For example, falls from heights were very common in retail and construction industries. Eye injuries were a big problem for those working in construction. Meanwhile, the oil and gas industry has a very high rate of motor vehicle accidents as one of its top injuries.
The most common types of injuries – no matter what the industry – were:
- Sprains/ strains – 30 percent
- Cuts/ punctures – 19 percent
- Contusions – 12 percent
- Inflammation – 5 percent
- Fractures – 5 percent
- All other – 29 percent
On the other hand, these injuries that are most common are not those that cost insurers and employers the most. The most expensive injuries and there average costs were:
- Amputations – $102,500
- Dislocation – $97,100
- Electric Shock – $54,200
- Crushing – $54,600
- Multiple Trauma – $50,000
Injured workers making workers’ compensation claims need to be mindful of these costs because the more serious an injury is, the more important it is to make sure all the necessary and appropriate steps are taken in filing a claim.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) reports work-related injuries and deaths cost American companies approximately $170 billion every year. The toll it takes on families and communities is even greater.
Of course, the insurance company is concerned about driving down their costs. One of the best ways they can do that is to advocate for safer workplaces.
If you have been injured at work, contact the Lee Law Offices at 800-887-1965.
What happens every 7 seconds: A workplace injury, May 18, 2016, By Ed Leefeldt, MoneyWatch/ CBS News