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The Top 10 Causes of Disabling Injuries



The Top 10 causes of the most serious workplace incidents cost employers over $58 billion dollars in medical expenses and lost wage payments alone. When you add other direct and indirect costs, total losses can be 8-10 times higher.


Understanding the top 1o risks in your workplace, is the first step to better protect your employees and your bottom-line. The purpose of the annual study is to help employers, risk managers and safety personnel make workplaces safer by identifying critical risk areas, so that businesses may effectively allocate safety resources.


The Top 5 Causes of Workplace Incidents:

  1. Overexertion involving handling objects: Lifting, Bending, Pulling, Pushing, Handling, Reaching and Throwing. Overexertion costs employers $13.3 billion dollars and represents 22.7% of the total number of injuries.

  2. Same Level Falls: Direct costs are $10.58 billion dollars. Slip, Trip & Fall injuries account for 18.1% of the total injury burden.

  3. Falls to a Lower Level: $6.26 billion dollars and 10.7% of the burden.

  4. Struck by an Object or Equipment: $5.61 billion and 5.6%.

  5. Other Exertions or Body Reactions: Bending, Twisting, Reaching, Sitting, Kneeling, Crawling, Standing and Running. $4.71 billion dollars and 8% of the burden.

The remaining injury causes ranked 6 to 10 combined for 20.1% of the direct costs of disabling injuries:

  • Repetitive Motions Involving Microtasks

  • Slips/Trips Without Falling

  • Roadway Incidents/Vehicle Crashes

  • Caught In/Compressed by Equipment, etc.


Do You Want to Prevent these Injuries?


Of course you do! The problem for most companies, they have tried numerous different approaches over the years to reduce risk and eliminate injuries, with mixed results. Companies are looking for a way to solve these problems, but often don't allocate the funds or time, to achieve targeted Health & Safety goals.


The problem with this mindset, these types of solutions are often not effective, do not work as promised or are not sustainable, for the following reasons:

  • Preventing the most serious injuries requires change: Behaviors, beliefs, perceptions, mindsets, habits, values, goals and more.

  • Change takes time and time costs money.

  • However, injuries and lost time cost much more than an effective solution.


  • These injuries and their causes don't happen in a vacuum. There are many risk and cumulative factors involved, for example:

  • A back injury can be caused my many things,

  • There are many different types of back injuries,

  • Risk factors are interconnected,

  • Solutions must integrate health and wellness, skills and sustainable behavioral changes, at work, home and on the road. Prevention is 27/7/365!

  • What are your employees doing when they're not at work?


Many stakeholders and employees believe the solution will:

  • Take too long,