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For over 20 years Liberty Mutual has published the Workplace Safety Index (WSI). Liberty Mutual’s WSI estimates the top ten causes of the most serious workplace injuries – those causing an employee to miss more than five days of work – and ranks them by their direct costs of medical and lost-wage payments.

The 2023 Liberty Mutual Workplace Safety Index (WSI) is based on information from Liberty Mutual, customized data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Office of Safety, Health, and Working Conditions, and the National Academy of Social Insurance (NASI).

U.S. industries spent $58.61 billion on the direct costs of worker injuries, and 82.2 percent of that cost ($48.15B) was for the top 10 causes of disabling injuries and illnesses. The 10 most costly causes of workplace injuries and illnesses are:

1) Overexertion involving outside sources – – Cost per year: $12.84B
2) Falls on same level – – Cost per year: $8.98B  
3) Falls to lower level – – Cost per year: $6.09B
4) Struck by object or equipment – – Cost per year: $5.14B
5) Other exertions or bodily reactions – – Cost per year: $3.67B
6) Exposure to other harmful substances – – Cost per year: $3.35B
7) Roadway incidents involving motorized land vehicles – – Cost per year: $2.58B
8) Caught in or compressed by equipment or objects – – Cost per year: $1.98B
9) Slip or trip without fall – – Cost per year: $1.92B
10) Pedestrian vehicular incidents – – Cost per year: $1.61B

One notable change is the presence of pedestrian vehicular incidents for the first time in the Index’s top 10. In addition to being a high-severity cause of loss, the BLS reported the highest number of these injuries in the previous 10 years, coupled with lower injury counts for most other causes of loss.

Compared to last year’s WSI, total estimated industry cost reduced the most for Leisure & Hospitality (-16.8%; consistent with the economic contraction caused by COVID-19 in this sector), whereas Professional & Business Services and Healthcare & Social Assistance experienced an increase in total cost of 6.2% and 4.3%, respectively.