Source: Dawn Edwards
The recently released Liberty Mutual Workplace Safety Index identified overexertion as one of the top 10 causes of the most serious workplace injuries. The annual report attributes a cost of $13.1 billion to injuries related to lifting, pushing, pulling, holding or carrying.
The manufacturing, construction and professional and business services industries were at the top of list as the most costly in terms of workplace injuries. The report also notes that while the frequency of injuries has decreased, the cost of accidents has increased due to medical payments and jury verdicts.
Prevention of Workplace Injuries from Overexertion
Several options are available for companies to take action to prevent these workplace injuries.
In an article in Risk & Insurance, James Merendino, vice president and general manager of GRS Risk Control, Liberty Mutual, recommends that companies develop a strategic safety plan that identifies the top safety challenges and an approach for mitigation and management. He also recommends that senior management set expectations of safety as a strategic priority and direct involvement of front line employees in the program.
Many companies are also turning to onsite injury prevention programs, which are particularly suited to the problem of overexertion. By placing a physical therapist trained in occupational therapy right at the workplace, companies benefit from a resource that: