OSHA estimates that businesses spend $170 billion annually due to on the job illnesses and injuries, and that around 3.7 million employees are hurt every year. Many companies treat workplace injuries as an annoyance that just suddenly occurs. However, workplace injuries do not just happen as they are often preventable and predictable. Data from the Injury Impact Report reveals the most common occupational injuries and accidents.
The report compiled by Travelers Company Inc. contains information gathered from more than 1.5 million workers' compensation claims that were filed between 2010-2014. The most common incidents include:
- Material handling
- Slips, trips and falls
- Collision with an object
- Tool accidents
- Overuse and strain causes issues over time
These events typically led to sprains, contusions, inflammation, chronic sickness or fractures. The most missed days of work on average happened with inflammation (91 days) and fractures (78 days).
Knowing the most common workplace accidents and the injuries that result allows companies to take steps to prevent injuries. The second vice president of risk control and workers' compensation at Travelers said that stopping accidents is possible when suitable safety measures are in place and safety issues are quickly addressed. Creating a culture of safety starts with leaders and supervisors.
Preventing injuries requires that companies be proactive. This could include anything from reducing the physical demands of a job to making changes to a physical work space. Workers are understandably worried about healing and returning to work, and it is often possible for workers to return to their jobs while still recovering.