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Leading causes of workplace injuries

Workers in Minnesota are injured on the job due to a variety of different reasons and causes. For some workers, physical exertion can lead to musculoskeletal injuries like joint dislocations or muscle strains. Other workers are injured as a result of an unsafe work environment when an object falls on them or they trip on something in their walking path.

Using data that was collected in 2010, the 2012 Liberty Mutual Workplace Safety Index compiled a list of the top five most common causes for workplace injuries. The list also reported the annual cost burden from each of the five most common types of injuries. According to the list, the leading cause of workplace injury is overexertion from pushing, pulling, lifting or carrying. Injuries that are caused by overexertion result in an annual cost burden of $13.61 billion.

The second most common cause of worker injuries are falls on the same level. These kinds of accidents result in an annual cost burden of $8.6 billion and typically happen because a floor is too cluttered or slippery. Bodily reaction was the third leading cause of workplace injuries, and falls to a lower level was the fourth. The fifth leading cause of worker injury was falling objects.

Many workers in the United States are covered by workers' compensation insurance. A covered worker who is injured on the job, can file a claim for medical expenses and lost wages regardless of who was to blame for the workplace accident. In some cases, a worker may be entitled to seek additional compensation for their injuries if a non-employer third party was responsible.

Source: EHS Today, "Preventing the Top 5 Workplace Injuries", Langdon Dement, December 16, 2014

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