Workplace Injury

What Are the Top Injuries Driving Workers’ Compensation Claims?

Overexertion, same-level falls and falls to a lower level top the list.
By: | May 8, 2018

Working off the most complete data set available, Liberty Mutual’s Workplace Safety Index identified the top 10 types of workplace injuries.

Topping the list is “overexertion involving outside sources,” which accounted for 23.4 percent of workplace injuries and cost employers $13.7 billion. That figure is based on data from accident year 2015, which is the most recent year for which the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) can provide complete data.

The category of “overexertion” involves injuries related to pushing, pulling, holding, carrying or throwing objects.

The second most prevalent type of workplace injury involved “falls on the same level,” which accounted for 19.2 percent of the employer cost burden from workplace injuries and generated $11.2 billion in losses for employers, according to the Boston-based property/casualty insurer’s report.

Ranking third through fifth on the report were “falls to a lower level,” (with $5.9 billion in losses), “struck by an object or equipment,” (with $5.3 billion in losses) and a category described as “other exertions or bodily reactions,” (which generated $4.2 billion in losses) and accounted for 7.2 percent of injuries.


The loss figure of close to $60 billion for 2015 represented a 2.9 percent increase over the injury-related financial losses to employers in 2014, according to the report.

Rich Angevine, a spokesman for Liberty Mutual, said due to changes in employment figures and other factors, it’s too early to say whether injury-related costs for employers can definitely be said to have increased in 2016 and 2017.

The Liberty Mutual Workplace Safety Index is based on information from Liberty Mutual, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and the National Academy of Social Insurance.

It takes a while for analysts to gather mature workers’ compensation data, which is why 2015 is the most recent accident year for which complete loss data is available.

The BLS data is analyzed to determine which events caused employees to miss six or more days of work. Those events are then ranked by the total workers’ compensation costs, the report stated.

It takes a while for analysts to gather mature workers’ compensation data, which is why 2015 is the most recent accident year for which complete loss data is available.

“The reason for that is that workers’ compensation costs come in and go out over the life of a claim,” Angevine said.

“So in order to create an accurate summary of costs for the accidents that happened in 2015, the data has to age,” he added.

The remaining five loss drivers on the list were roadway incidents involving motor vehicles, slip or trip without a fall, caught or compressed by equipment or an object, stuck against an object or equipment and repetitive motion involving micro-tasks.  Those five categories of injury account for 19.1 percent of injuries, according to the Liberty Mutual report. &

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The R&I Editorial Team can be reached at [email protected]