Overexertion and other exertions or bodily reactions accounted for roughly one-third of the costs of workers' compensation claims in the United States in 2012, according to the 15th annual report of the Liberty Mutual Research Institute for Safety. The Institute, located in Hopkinton, Massachusetts, issues an annual ranking of the top 10 causes of serious workplace injuries. Its workers' compensation statistics are based on data collected from its own claims records, in addition to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and the National Academy of Social Insurance.
The 2014 annual ranking index recently published is based on data from 2012. The exertion injuries involve medically injurious bodily reactions to activities such as pulling, pushing, lifting, holding, carrying, bending, walking, crawling, reaching and the like. This kind of prevalent injury does not generally involve a physical or traumatic impact of the body with any outside object.
In general, the exertion type injuries may include sprains, strains, ruptures, herniated discs, muscle tears and similar kinds of trauma to various parts of the body. Falls to the same level and falls to a lower level comprised about 24 percent of all workers' compensation costs, according to the reported ranking. Although accidents where equipment, objects or vehicles injure a worker are significant when combined together, it's nonetheless notable that a large percentage of compensable work accidents are in the categories of injuries from exertion, bodily movements without impact and repetitive motion injuries.
The statistics back up the need for workers who sustain injuries, and especially exertional injuries, to report them immediately and seek medical attention as soon as possible. When making a workers' compensation claim, it is important to be able to document the occurrence of an accident. That is why a supervisor should be notified immediately and an incident report filled out. When a workplace accident is not clearly documented and the procedure not meticulously followed, employers and workers' compensation carriers in Massachusetts and elsewhere may have a reason to question whether a work injury really occurred.
Source: insurancejournal.com, "Top 10 Causes of Workplace Injuries", Jan. 16, 2015