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The high cost of overexertion injuries

Louisiana workers and employers may be interested to learn that overexertion was the top type of disabling injury listed in Liberty Mutual's 2016 Workplace Safety Index. Using 2013 data, the index found that overexertion injuries accounted for about 25 percent of the national cost burden for employers, at more than $15 billion. Same-level falls accounted for more than 16 percent of the injury burden for employers, costing them more than $10 billion. Falls to a lower level were third and cost employers $5.4 billion.

Liberty Mutual's findings were in line with the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data for 2014, which was released in November 2015. The BLS found that 32 percent of the injuries and illnesses suffered by workers in that year were musculoskeletal disorders. Those who were most at risk were those who worked as nursing assistants, laborers and material movers.

According to the Workplace Safety Index, the top five injury causes made up 64.8 percent of the cost burden for employers in 2013. The remaining five injury categories accounted for more than 17 percent of the cost burden. In total, the top 10 types of injuries cost employers around $51 billion.

Workplace injuries not only cost the employers money, they can also cause the victims to be unable to work. This can result in financial hardship, especially if they require medical care of hospitalization. Most employers are required to offer workers' compensation benefits in the event a worker should suffer a serious injury while they are working. If a worker does become injured and the claim is denied or the insurance company does not offer enough to cover all of the damages, an attorney may be of assistance at a subsequent appeals hearing.

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