The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) has released a list of the Top 10 causes of workplace injuries based on 2013 data – the most recent year for which statistically valid injury data is available.
According to the BLS, workplace accidents and injuries, which resulted in employees to miss six or more days of work, cost U.S. employers nearly $62 billion, and 82% of that was attributed to the 10 leading causes of the most disabling work-related injuries.
Those 10 causes were:
Overexertion involving an outside source – This resulted in about one quarter of the total. The BLS says overexertion occurs when the physical effort of a worker who lifts, pulls, pushes, holds, carries, wields or throws an object results in an injury. This is because the object being handled often is heavier than the weight a worker should be handling or the object is handled improperly. Actual injuries include sprains, strains, and tears.
Falls on the same level – This could be the individual who falls over an uneven floor surface or someone leaning too far back in a chair and topples over.
Falls to lower level – This is the worker who falls to the ground from a roof or ladder, or an office worker standing and falling from a stepstool.
Struck by object or equipment – This includes being struck by an object dropped by a fellow worker to begin caught in a swinging door or gate.
Other exertions or bodily reaction – These are injuries the BLS says are caused by bending, crawling, reaching, twisting, climbing or stepping.
Roadway incidents involving motorized vehicles – The worker doesn’t have to be the driver, this includes passenger or pedestrian.
Slip or trip without falling – A worker can slip or trip without hitting the ground. Could be the individual slips on a wet floor and grabs at a handrail to keep from falling and the grab results in an injury to the hand, wrist, shoulder or other part of the body.
Caught in or compressed by equipment or objects – These injuries result from workers being caught in equipment or machinery that still running, as well as rolling, shifting or sliding objects.
Struck against object or equipment – These injuries result from the worker being hurt by forcible contact or impact, such as the individual who walks into the open drawer of a file cabinet.
Repetitive motions involving micro-tasks – The last of the 10 includes injuries from tasks that may include the same continuous movements, such as a typist, who inputs data all day, or a grocery store cashier, who scans and bags groceries for several hours at a time.
CopperPoint provides workplace safety tips on these issues and more in its SafetyResources library found on its website, copperpoint.com. By going online, you can download a free safety plan template, order safety training cards or posters, download informational brochures regarding workers compensation insurance and watch work safety videos. CopperPoint has also launched www.pinpointnews.net, a blog written by subject matter experts designed to answer labor law, workplace safety, human resources and workers’ compensation questions that plague small business employers.