Liberty Mutual Reports the Top 10 Causes of Workplace Injury

According to the report, the U.S. industry spent $58.61 billion on worker injuries.

Liberty Mutual has published the Workplace Safety Index (WSI), which estimates the top ten causes of the most serious workplace injuries — those causing an employee to miss more than five days of work — and ranks them by their direct costs of medical and lost-wage payments.

“...The Workplace Safety Index gives risk managers an at-a-glance injury ranking to start thinking through what could be impacting their businesses. For a deeper dive, our award-winning predictive analytics helps our clients understand the link between their operations, their people, and their business results..." says Dorothy Doyle, SVP and general manager, risk control, Liberty Mutual.

To capture accurate injury cost data, each Index is based on data three years prior. Thus, the 2023 Index reflects 2020 data, representing the first year of COVID-19.

According to a multi-bureau report from the NCCI, COVID-19 represented 11% of lost time claims. This unusual disparity between the proportions of BLS reported occupational injuries and illnesses versus worker’s compensation claims may be because the Families First Coronavirus Response Act provided access to paid sick leave as an alternative to filing indemnity-only worker’s compensation claims (NASI). Therefore, the 2023 WSI uses this lower proportion of 11% for COVID-19 illnesses rather than the 43% of injuries and illnesses suggested by the increased BLS-reported count in the category of injuries and illnesses that includes COVID-19.

In 2020 (2023 WSI), U.S. industry spent $58.61 billion on the direct costs of worker injuries, and 82.2% of that cost ($48.15 billion) was for the top 10 causes of disabling injuries and illnesses.

The following chart details the top 10 most costly causes of injury and their direct costs to U.S. businesses:

Image courtesy of Liberty Mutual