In 2017, the latest year for which statistically valid data is complete, the total cost of workplace injuries to U.S. employers was $161.5 billion. According to the National Safety Council, this number includes:
- Administrative expenses
- Wage and productivity losses
- Medical expenses
- Employer’s uninsured cost
- Property Damage
Workplace injuries that resulted in six or more days away from work and were medically consulted, meaning they required medical attention, averaged $39,000 per worker in total, while the cost per workplace death was closer to $1,150,000.
Interestingly, of all the costs related to workplace injury in the United States, the largest are administrative. Coming in at $52 billion in 2017, these expenses were slightly higher than the $50.7 billion in wage and productivity losses reported by employers.
There were 2.8 million nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses reported to the government in 2017. Of those, 1.1 million resulted in days away from work. The average number of days away from work that year and the year prior was nine. Averaged per worker, this equals 104,000,000 days lost in total. 70,000,000 of those to injury alone.
Common Workplace Injuries
EHS, a trade publication for the environment, health, and safety industries, reports that the ten most costly causes of injuries for U.S. employers are:
- Overexertion involving an outside source, $15.8 billion
- Falls to the same level, $10.17 billion
- Falls to a lower level, $5.4 billion
- Being struck by an object or equipment, $5.31 billion
- Other exertions or bodily reactions, $4.15 billion
- Roadway incidents involving motorized land vehicles, $2.96 billion
- Slip or trip without a fall, $2.35 billion
- Being caught in or compressed by equipment, $1.97 billion
- Striking against an object or equipment, $1.85 billion
- Repetitive motion doing micro-tasks, $1.82 billion
These incidents can result in back and neck injury, repetitive strain, head injury, broken or pulverized bones, amputation, and death.
Commonly occurring on construction sites, victims of these injuries are often contractors who are not eligible for workers’ compensation. In these cases, it is best to talk to a personal injury attorney as soon as possible to determine if there is anything that can be done to seek full compensation.
Understanding Your Rights
Not everyone qualifies for workers’ compensation and, if you do not, taking legal action may be the most viable choice. If it can be established that your accident was the result of someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to seek damages for medical expenses, lost wages, physical pain, emotional duress, and more. The best way to determine if you have cause to file suit is through a complimentary consultation at our Atlanta office.
Please call 404-760-7400 to schedule your free case review today. Located in Atlanta, Watkins, Lourie, Roll & Chance welcomes clients from Savannah, Columbus, Decatur, Augusta, and all surrounding areas.