Accidents at work cost companies in the United States an estimated $62 billion each year, according to a recent national study.
The figure comes as no surprise to our experienced workers' compensation attorneys who help injured workers every day. About 23,000 on-the-job injuries are reported every day nationwide, according to the Economic Policy Institute. That adds up to a potentially huge cost to workers and their families. Fortunately, when people are injured at work, Pennsylvania law allows them to pursue a workers' compensation claim regardless of who was at fault.
Without workers' compensation benefits, injured workers could end up destitute. But companies might try to deny a claim or force someone back to work before he or she is ready. Behind closed doors, company officials may look at the "expense" of losing an injured employee as a reason to deny the claim. That's why it's important to consult with an attorney if you or a loved one was injured on the job. We may be able to help you file a workers' compensation claim.
The Liberty Mutual Research Institute for Safety conducted the annual study into the cost to businesses, according to a recent news article published by Business Wire. The Institute based its findings on accident data compiled by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the National Academy of Social Insurance and Liberty Mutual Insurance, which owns and operates the Liberty Mutual Research Institute for Safety.
The study focused on accident data from 2013, the most recent statistically-valid year, and only included workplace accidents or injuries that resulted in workers missing at least 6 days of work. As a result, the $62 billion estimate could be significantly higher because many injured workers sometimes miss less than 6 days of work due to an injury.
What are the top 10 causes of workplace accidents?
The study listed the top 10 causes of workplace injuries for 2013. According to the 12th-annual study, these top 10 causes account for $51 billion of the $62 billion impact due to workplace accidents. The top 10 causes are:
- Overexertion involving outside source (pulling, lifting, pushing objects) ($15 billion)
- Falls on same level ($10.1 billion)
- Falls to lower level ($5.4 billion)
- Struck by an object ($5.3 billion)
- Other exertions or bodily reactions ($4.1 billion)
- Roadway incidents or motor vehicle accidents ($2.9 billion)
- Slip or trip without falling ($2.3 billion)
- Caught in, compressed by equipment or objects ($1.9 billion)
- Struck against an object ($1.8 billion)
- Repetitive motion injuries ($1.8 billion)
"We rank the top 10 causes of the most serious, nonfatal workplace injuries by their direct costs each year to help companies improve safety," said Debbie Michel, general manager of Liberty Mutual's National Insurance Casualty operation, as quoted in the Business Wire article.
How can a workplace accident change a person's life?
The financial impact of workplace accidents on injured workers often includes many different expenses, including emergency medical care, additional doctor's appointments, physical therapy, pharmaceutical costs and lost income. Some injured workers also need someone to care for them or young children while they're recovering from such serious accidents.
And if such injuries are permanent, modifications need to be made to the home. This is especially true if injured workers require the use of a wheelchair. A ramp might need to be installed outside the house. The house's bathroom (installing a wheelchair-accessible shower) and kitchen (lowering the height of the countertops) in particular might also need to be modified.
But there's more to workplace accidents than simply the bottom line. The emotional toll such accidents can take on injury victims and their families can be overwhelming.
We take all of these factors into consideration when working with accident victims throughout Pennsylvania at O'Malley & Langan Law Offices. Schedule a free case evaluation today at one of our three locations: Scranton, Pittston or Towanda. Call 1-866-326-0100.