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Workplace Safety Saves.

Ten leading causes of injuries and illnesses accounted for 86 percent of the $38.7 billion in wage and medical payments employers paid in 1998, the last year for which data is available. Obviously, if the causes can be mitigated, enormous savings would result.

In an effort to offer guidelines to reduce human and economic costs, Liberty Mutual Group has developed its first annual "Liberty Mutual Work place Safety Index." The insurer, a provider of workers compensation insurance products and services, identified the leading causes of job site accidents and illness and associated direct cost using its own claims data and findings from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the National Academy of Social Insurance.

"There is a clear link between workplace safety and a company's performance," says Gary Gregg, executive vice president of Liberty Mutual's Commercial Markets, which provides commercial insurance coverage to large and medium-sized companies. He noted three benefits from improved workplace safety: It reduces employee pain and suffering; helps avoid the direct cost of workplace injuries -- such as wage replacement payments and medical care expenses; and prevents the indirect cost of the accidents, such as lower morale, lost productivity and the cost of hiring or training overtime or temporary replacement workers.
Liberty Mutual Workplace
Safety Index -- Accident Drivers
Accident Causes Est. Workers
 Comp. Cost [*]
 1. Overexertion $9.8 billion
 2. Falls on same level $4.4 billion
 3. Bodily reaction $3.6 billion
 4. Falls to lower level $3.6 billion
 5. Being struck by an object $3.4 billion
 6. Repetitive motion $2.3 billion
 7. Highway accidents $2.1 billion
 8. Struck against an object $1.9 billion
 9. Becoming caught in or
 compressed by equipment $1.6 billion
10. Contact with
 temperature extremes $.3 billion
(*.)Estimated workers compensation direct cost nationwide
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Publication:Financial Executive
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jun 1, 2001
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