2017 Safety Index ranks overexertion as number one cause of disabling injuries

Costs to business: $13.79 billion

Posted January 23, 2017

The Liberty Mutual Research Institute has released its 2017 Safety Index, ranking the leading causes of serious, nonfatal work-injuries in terms of direct workers’ compensation costs. The index is based on information from Liberty Mutual Insurance, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, and the National Academy of Social Insurance.

According to the 2017 Liberty Mutual Workplace Safety Index, the total cost of the most disabling workplace injuries, based on 2014 injury data, was $59.87 billion. The cost of the top 10 most disabling workplace injuries added up to $49.92 billion.

The top ten leading causes of disabling injury, as reported by the Safety Index:

RankCategoryPercent of the overall national burdenDirect costs to business (in billions)
1.Overexertion involving outside sources23%$13.79 billion
2.Falls on the same level17.7%$10.62
3.Falls to lower level9.2%$5.5
4.Struck by object or equipment7.4%$4.43
5.Other exertions or bodily reactions6.5%$3.89
6.Roadway incidents involving motorized land vehicle6.2%$3.7
7,Slip or trip without fall3.8%$2.3
8.Caught in/compressed by equipment or objects3.3%$1.95
9.Struck against object or equipment3.2%$1.94
10.Repetitive motions involving micro-tasks3.0%$1.81

Overexertion involving outside sources topped the list as the leading cause of disabling injuries. This category includes injuries related to lifting, pushing, pulling, holding, carrying, or throwing objects.

Reproduced with permission from Liberty Mutual Research Institute for Safety. Source: www.libertymutualgroup.com/researchinstitute.