New data released on the 2019 Liberty Mutual Workplace Safety Index shows that the 10 most common types of workplace injuries cost employers nearly $47 billion and comprised nearly 85% of all workplace injury expenses.
The most common type of injury listed is “overexertion involving outside sources.” Injuries in this category cost over $13 billion last year alone and accounted for almost 24% of all workplace injury expenses. Overexertion involving outside sources refers to injuries or illnesses caused by lifting, pulling, turning, carrying or throwing the source of an injury or illness and can be from a single event or repetitive effort. Repetitive stress injuries like those most commonly associated with carpal tunnel syndrome took the ninth spot with costs in excess of $1.5 billion, or nearly 3% of the total.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, rates of workplace injuries – once enjoying a steady decline year over year – failed to decrease from 2017 to 2018. This was the first time since 2012 that an additional decrease failed to occur. 2009 to 2017 saw workplace injuries decrease nearly a full percentage point.
Retail industries saw their workplace injury rate actually increase slightly. Other fields that account for high percentages of workplace injuries include manufacturing, healthcare, construction, professional services, wholesale, transportation and warehousing, and the leisure and hospitality industry.