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Overexertion and Falls Lead Workers' Compensation Costs

Liberty Mutual Inc., compiled the top 10 on-the-job injuries across the country, noting that the top five account for almost three quarters of workers' compensation costs in its 2011 Workplace Safety Index report. Overexertion tops the list, and includes workplace injuries related to lifting, pulling, pushing, holding, throwing and carrying.

Lifting/pushing/turning/pulling injuries often lead to back and knee injuries and also may increase the risk of a heart attack in the Colorado workforce. When an accident happens, injuries are often quite obvious. But, when injuries are the result of the same motion repeated over time, symptoms may not reveal themselves until an injured worker is at home or away from the jobsite, leading to questions of whether workers' compensation benefits should apply.

Falls account for #2 and #3 on the list of most common causes of workplace injuries, separated into falls on the same level and falls to a different level/falls from heights. Bodily reaction and object strikes rounded out the top five. Bodily reaction includes climbing, bending, reaching, standing, sitting and tripping injuries. Object strikes are when workers were hit by something in the workplace.

The remaining five causes of workplace injury include highway incidents, workers being caught in or compressed by machinery, workers hitting something like a door resulting in injury, repetitive stress activities and a violent act at the workplace. The top 10 causes of workplace accidents accounted for almost 90 percent of all workplace injuries in 2009.

Source: Business Insurance, "Top 5 workplace injury causes make up 72% of direct workers comp costs: Analysis," 10 January 2012

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