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Safety Management Insights

What Are The Most Costly Workplace Injuries?

Posted by Don Brown on Aug 26, 2015 8:30:00 AM

Costly_Workplace_Injuries.jpgAs a safety manager, you understand the importance of continually improving the safety of your organization. A safer workplace not only results in fewer incidents; it fosters a happier, more productive workplace and benefits everyone’s bottom line.

Still, it’s easy to lose track of the true costs of workplace injuries. You may be making continual improvements at your company, but do you really understand the short- and long-term effects of the accidents that do occur?

Consider this: Workplace injuries and fatalities cost the United States economy a whopping $62 billion in 2016, according to the National Safety Council. What’s more, the Safety Management Group has found that the average direct cost of an injury is roughly $48,000, and indirect costs often approach $200,000. Even assuming a generous profit margin, that means well over $2 million in additional revenue is required to offset the loss! For most companies, cutting corners on safety only leads to losses – both of life and profits.

Of course, even the most conscientious companies are going to have to pick and choose when it comes to their safety spending. According to the 2016 Liberty Mutual Workplace Safety Index, here are the ten most costly workplace injuries


Repetitive motions can be extremely taxing. Injuries related to lifting, pushing, pulling, holding carrying and throwing cost businesses $15.08 billion and accounted for more than 24 percent of the nation’s injury-related burden.

Same-Level Falls

Falling from heights is actually less of a problem than seemingly minor slip-ups. Falls to the floor costs the economy $10.17 billion in 2016.

Lower-Level Falls

Falling off of roofs or ladders is still a major problem. These falls cost $5.4 billion per year.

Object Strikes

Accidents involving falling objects or out-of-control equipment accounted for 8.6 percent of the national burden.

Non-Loaded Exertion

Even without added weight, the wrong movements can result in serious wear and tear. Bodily exertions such as kneeling, standing, bending and twisting cost the U.S. economy $4.15 billion.

Motor Vehicle Crashes

Crashes in company cars and trucks represented 4.8 percent of the 2016 national injury cost.

Slips and Trips

Even when you don’t fall, a slip or misstep can cause strains, muscle tears and other long-term problems. These racked up $2.35 billion in total costs.

Equipment Catches 

Vices, knobs and other protrusions can be extremely hazardous if they’re not monitored. They’re not the biggest source of injury, but they still accounted for 3.2 percent of the national burden at $1.97 billion per year.

Struck Against Object or Equipment

Being accidentally struck by equipment or another object used on the job accounted for 3 perecent at a cost of $1.85 billion per year.

Small, Repetitive Tasks

It may sound silly, but strains and arthritis related to typing, writing and other dexterous tasks resulted in $1.82 billion in costs.

Even if you regularly conduct audits and update safety policies, chances are at least one of these injuries is holding your company back. To find out more about how you can reduce related accidents, download our free resource, 9 Ways to Make Your Job As A Safety Manager Easier.

9 Ways to Make Your Job as a Safety Manager Easier