Material handling injuries at work account for the largest proportion of workers comp claims over a five-year period according to recently released research.
The “Injury Impact Report” was compiled by the insurance carrier Travelers. Travelers handles more workers comp claims than any other insurance carrier in the country and was able to draw on data from more than 1.5 million claims made between 2010 and 2014 to determine what nature of accidents were the most common in the workplace.
At the top of the list, material handling injuries at work accounted for 32 percent of the total number of workers comp claims received during the period, with slips, trips and falls at work (16 percent) and injuries due to being struck by an object (10 percent) filling second and third places respectively ahead of accidents with tools at work (7 percent) and repetitive strain injuries (4 percent).
Due to the nature of the most common accidents in the workplace, it was no surprise that inflammations (91 days) and fractures (78 days) were the two injuries attributable on average for the longest absences from work. Strains and sprains also rated highly, with an average absence from work of 57 days.
Industry specific injuries were dominated by material handling injuries at work, with workers comp claims material handling injuries responsible for almost 40 percent of claims in the manufacturing and retail industries. However there was also a much higher proportion of injuries caused by fall from heights in the retail sector would normally be expected.
Woody Dwyer – the Second Vice President of Workers Compensation Risk Control – commented on the findings of the report by calling for a better culture of safety for employees. He said the most common injuries seen by the company could often be prevented if the proper safety measures were in place.