3 Common and costly workplace injuries

A few weeks ago, we talked about the cost of having poor management and low compliance in safety procedures at the workplace. When professionals conduct safety inspections properly in order to identify potential risks and hazards, the risk of being injured at work reduces significantly as well as any economic cost related to it.

Most of the incidents at the workplace can be prevented or at least de-escalated. We just need to pay attention to our surroundings and take appropriate action.

In this blog, we present you our findings on what 3 most common and costly causes of injuries at the workplace are in the US. The following information is based on the BSL, the National Safety Council and Liberty Mutual.

Overexertion and bodily reaction

Data says that there are approximately 33 incidents caused by overexertion per 10,000 full-time workers. In industries such as manufacturing and transportation, overexertion injuries are very common because part of the employee’s work activities requires physical effort and repetitive movements such as carrying, holding, lifting, throwing.

When employers don’t consider employees’ physical capacity sufficiently or if they are not properly trained to perform a specific task, then injuries can occur resulting in sprains or strains to the muscles, tendons or ligaments. 

According to Liberty Mutual, injuries resulted by overexertion involving outside sources cost $13.11 billion for companies. In manufacturing and transportation industries, overexertion accounted for $1.77 and $1.21 billion in losses respectively.

Falls, slips and trips

Following injuries by overexertion, falls on the same level are the second common cause of workplace injuries. Service providing industries like hospitality seem to be the industries where it is more common that employees experience these kinds of injuries. Approximately, there are 27 fall incidents per 10,000 full-time workers.

Depending on the workplace conditions, employees can be exposed to different types of hazards including wet or oily surfaces, cracks and objects in the floor. Also, employees can get injured if they are not wearing adequate PPE or footwear for walking on irregular surfaces caused by extreme weather or other environment conditions.

The cost that companies face for injuries caused by falls, slips and trips is $10.38 billion. In the professional service industry, the cost of falls on the same level was $1.92 billion while the leisure and hospitality industry represented $1.04 billion of losses.

Contact with objects and equipment

Finally, being stuck by an object and equipment is another one of the most common causes of workplace injuries, with 24 incidents of this nature occurring per 10,000 full-time workers approximately. For instance, when employees are injured by object striking, compressed in equipment or caught in collapsing material, structure or machine. 

It’s common that behind these kinds of injuries there is a lack of proper training, lack of workplace assessments, faulty equipment and even the lack of enforcement on safety behaviors in employees. 

Injuries caused by contact with objects and equipment represent $5.22 billion for US companies. The main sectors where these incidents are more common are construction ($1.72 billion), wholesale ($0.68 billion) and retail ($0.73 billion).

Having safety procedures and understanding the root causes of any injury at your workplace is essential in every industry to effectively protect your employees as well as reduce the economic impact that these incidents involve. Moreover, we believe that professionals should have the right tools and equipment that support them to add value to employee and workplace safety.

Kwema helps companies deescalate the safety risks that employees face every day at their workplace by providing them wearables that activate an emergency response, alerting the safety staff or 911. Our devices are designed to avoid adoption hurdles and training costs by being placed in something employees already wear.

Watch how Kwema is disrupting workplace safety

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