Causes, Costs of Injuries in 8 Industries

The 2019 Liberty Mutual Workplace Safety Index is more specific than in previous years. This year’s index, for the first time, breaks out the causes and costs of the most serious workplace injuries for eight industries.

Liberty Mutual’s 2019 index indicates that the top 10 causes were the same between the 2018 and 2019 reports, with overexertion involving outside sources again topping the list with 23.65% of all injuries and same-level falls coming in second at 18.72%.

Costs in the Billions

The index documents these serious injuries and ranks them by direct cost to employers, consisting of medical and lost-wage payments. Overexertion involving outside sources cost employers $13.11 billion in 2016, according to the index – which is based on 2016 data from Liberty Mutual, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and the National Academy of Social Insurance.

Same-level falls cost employers $10.38 billion. In addition to providing the top 10 causes, the 2019 index for the first-time reports information on serious workplace injuries that account for a high proportion of all national workplace injuries for eight industries: manufacturing, healthcare, construction, professional services, retail, wholesale, transportation and warehousing, and leisure and hospitality.

The top cause of injuries in manufacturing, healthcare, retail, transportation and warehousing and wholesale was overexertion involving outside sources, costing:

  • Manufacturing $1.77 billion,
  • Healthcare $1.44 billion,
  • Retail $1.31 billion,
  • Transportation and warehousing $1.21 billion, and
  • Wholesale $0.91 billion.

Falls to a lower level was the top cause of injury in the construction industry, costing employers $2.5 billion, and same-level falls topped the list for professional services ($1.92 billion) and leisure and hospitality ($1.04 billion).