According to the 2016 Liberty Mutual Workplace Safety Index, the most disabling, nonfatal workplace injuries amounted to nearly $62 billion in direct U.S. workers compensation costs, with the top 10 causes equaling $51.06 billion or 82.5 percent of the total cost burden. This translates into more than $1 billion per week spent by businesses on these injuries.
The top five injury causes – overexertion, falls on same level, falls to lower level, struck by object or equipment and other exertions or bodily reactions accounted for 64.8 percent of the total cost burden. The remaining five injury causes combined accounted for 17.7 percent of the total direct cost.
Here is a Breakdown of the Top 10 Causes and Costs of Workplace Injuries:
In today’s blog, we’re going to give you a closer look at the five most common workplace accidents and offer safety tips and suggestions to help you avoid and prevent them from occurring.
Every year in the United States, workplace electrical incidents result in more than 300 deaths and 3,500 injuries. While electrical hazards are not the leading cause of on-the-job injuries and fatalities, they are disproportionately fatal and costly with 1 in 13 electrical injuries resulting in death.
According to OSHA, electrical incidents cause an average of 13 days away from work and nearly one fatality every day. Electrical incidents rank 6th among all causes of work related deaths in the U.S. Over the past decade, 46,000 workers were injured from on the job electrical hazards and a worker is severely hurt every 30 minutes from electricity.
Electrocution is not the only injury employees can get from electrical hazards. Additional injuries include burns, hearing loss, lacerations and other health issues. An especially dangerous event is what’s called an Arc Flash. An arc flash is the light and heat produced by an electric arc supplied with sufficient electrical energy to cause substantial damage, harm, fire, or injury. Electrical arcs experience negative resistance, which causes the electrical resistance to decrease as the arc temperature increases.
Protecting employees from potential head injuries is a key element of any safety program. Head injuries can cause serious injuries or even death, with over 84,000 head injuries in 2014 alone. Wearing the proper head protection is an important step in preventing head injuries and can protect employees from impact and penetration hazards as well as electrical shock and burns.
Take a look at the photo of the two men working below.
As the leading provider of safety services, safety technology and safety products, Arbill is literally saving lives every day at industrial worksites throughout the United States. An award-winning supplier of all-things safety, for more than 70 years, Arbill's clients have counted on us to make sure their employees go home safely after every shift.
Fire safety has come a long way since the tragedy at the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory in New York City, that killed 146 garment workers -123 women and 23 men, in 1911. Today, there are standards put in place by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to guard against hazards like locked fire exits and inadequate fire extinguishing systems.
However, according to OSHA, workplace fires and explosions kill 200 and injure more than 5,000 workers each year and costs businesses more than $2.3 billion in property damage. Explosions and fires account for 3% of workplace injuries and have the highest casualty rate of all probable workplace accidents.
Unexpected explosions and fires in the workplace are frequently caused by risk factors such as faulty gas lines, poor pipefitting, improperly stored combustible materials or open flames. These incidents cause damage to the respiratory system, varying degrees of burns and potential disfigurement.
According to the 2016 Liberty Mutual Workplace Safety Index, the most disabling, nonfatal workplace injuries amounted to nearly $62 billion in direct U.S. workers’ compensation costs. This translates into more than a billion dollars a week spent by businesses on these injuries.
When you hear the phrase, “disaster in the workplace,” you think of big explosions, massive fires and horrible accidents. These associations make sense as the effects of disasters, after all, are huge. However, the steps you can take to prevent these large-scale calamities are small, simple and unfortunately often forgotten or ignored.
Having a solid safety program in effect can prevent many injuries and significantly reduce your workers’ compensation exposure. But work-related injuries are not completely avoidable. OSHA reports that each year, over 4.1 million American workers suffer a serious job-related injury or illness. Once the injury occurs, your focus needs to shift from injury avoidance to limiting the impact of the claim on your business operations and your bottom line.
Documenting injuries is very important for businesses and employees.
As shared by the US Department of Labor, under the OSHA Recordkeeping regulation (29 CFR 1904), covered employers are required to prepare and maintain records of serious occupational injuries and illnesses, using the OSHA 300 Log. This information is important for employers, workers and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) in evaluating the safety of a workplace, understanding industry hazards, and implementing worker protections to reduce and eliminate hazards.
In 2014, OSHA announced changes to the list of industries that are exempt from the requirement to routinely keep OSHA injury and illness records, and to the list of severe work-related injuries and illnesses that all covered employers must report to OSHA. These new requirements went into effect on January 1, 2015 for workplaces under Federal OSHA jurisdiction.
So what does this mean for most businesses?
All employers must report the following:
- All work-related fatalities within 8 hours.
- All work-related inpatient hospitalizations, all amputations and all losses of an eye within 24 hours.
Report to OSHA by
- Calling OSHA's free and confidential number at 1-800-321-OSHA (6742).
- Calling your closest Area Office during normal business hours.
- Using the online form.
Only fatalities occurring within 30 days of the work-related incident must be reported to OSHA. Further, for an in-patient hospitalization, amputation or loss of an eye, these incidents must be reported to OSHA only if they occur within 24 hours of the work-related incident.
OSHA reminds employers to post OSHA's Form 300A, which summarizes the total number of job-related injuries and illnesses. This summary needs to be displayed in a common area where notices to employees are usually posted.
Employers with 10 or fewer employees and employers in certain industries are normally exempt from federal OSHA injury and illness recordkeeping and posting requirements. A complete list of exempt industries in the retail, services, finance, insurance and real estate sectors can be found at http://s.dol.gov/YP. Read the news release for more information on recordkeeping requirements.
The reporting of injuries, illnesses and deaths that might occur in your organization will help OSHA carry out its mission of saving lives, preventing injuries and protecting the health of America’s workers. Yes, reporting does take time, but it is mandated. It’s critical to capture and share this information.
Many companies fail to fully appreciate the overall costs of safety, and have not drawn the connection between the implementation of best practices and the procurement of safety related products. Arbill offers innovative industrial safety products, services and training to protect your workers so that the reporting of injuries could be a thing of the past.
Contact a Safety Account Manager today to discuss best practices for protecting your workers. Visit www.arbill.com for more information on our safety products and services. We hope that you find our blogs useful – please feel free to share with your colleagues and friends – the more workplace injuries that we can prevent will bring us closer to our goal. Subscribe here and we will continue to provide important safety information for you and your employees.