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Material-moving wins the injury sweepstakes

January 17th, 2012

Repetitive motion is out. Overexertion is in.
Workplace injuries cost billions
According to a recent survey, “overexertion” is still beats all other contenders in the workplace injury sweepstakes. Injuries from moving materials directly cost businesses $12.75 billion according to the 2011 Liberty Mutual Workplace Safety Index.

The annual survey identifies the 10 leading causes of disabling workplace injuries. (“Disabling” means a “non-fatal” incident with more than 5 lost days.)

Overall, more than $50 billion was spent by employers on disabling workplace injuries in 2009, a slight reduction over the wild economic heyday of 2008. Significantly, almost three quarters of the 2009 costs were related to “overexertion– injuries from excessive lifting, pushing, pulling, holding, carrying or throwing.”
The $12.75 billion in direct costs implies (correctly) that there are even more billions of dollars expended indirectly on material-moving incidents. Like careers cut short. Like fines and penalties. Like industrial equipment repair.
Staffing companies absorb workers compensation charges for their employees. Of course, the charges must get passed along to our clients. Recruiting the right person, training them and surrounding them with good safety procedures are three ways the best staffing companies help to shrink the purse in the injury sweepstakes.

Eileen Wheeler Sheehan

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